Sports : Michael Sam Came Out And….


Michael Sam has come out as gay and the world gave a heavy sigh of relief.  Actually the only hub bub is from players who think gay man can’t control themselves in a locker room with naked men. 

My issue is why do these sports figures, actors, politicians, etc. feel the need to publicly proclaim their homosexuality?

I imagine the main reason is for themselves. At some point in their career they will be asked about a wife, girlfriend.  Saying I work too much can only last so long.  So they come out and suddenly no one cares who they are dating.

Another reason is because it helps people who are struggling with their own sexual identity to come to terms with who they are.  I knew at a very young age that I was different.   I didn’t know what it was until puberty but I knew that it was something I shouldn’t talk about.

I remember watching the news at this time.  Always stories about the gay pride parades in New York and San Francisco.  Of course the media picks up on the leather guys and the chicks with no shorts on and I remember my uncle saying, what a bunch of freaks.  I thought to myself, am I one of those freaks?  The first gay person I saw on TV was Harvey Milk. 

I thought ok, maybe I wasn’t a freak.  People like me did normal things.  There was hope for me.  LOL. Then he got shot and I thought how unfair.  Of course as the years went by more people started coming out of the closet and being gay was more acceptable.  I came to terms with who I was and realized we make our own path in life.

When you hear someone ask why it’s so important a celebrity proclaiming their homosexuality, tell them some kid somewhere is watching and has realized they aren’t alone.  We forget because we are so into our lives that not everyone lives the way we do.  There are plenty of people still struggling with who they are.  Maybe one of these celebrity stories will help them through.

Thoughts? Comments?

g skorich

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  1. Aaron

    Sports is one of those worlds that gays are constantly excluded from or expected to not be interested – but there are plenty of gay guys who enjoy watching sports, cheering for their favourite teams and going to the local sports bar to watch the Super Bowl or whatever. I work at a Sports Bar and it’s just a great atmosphere and for the most part people don’t care that I’m gay. Every so often it’s an issue, but that’s true anywhere you go in America at the moment. Gay athletes don’t have people to look to who might actually talk to them about the sport or give them pointers, and these guys coming out in the sports world give them that idea that they have someone to look up to that understands the world they live in better than maybe Peyton Manning or Tim Tebow could. I don’t have an issue with celebrities coming out – it’s their journey too. I guess I’m just a little jealous that their comings-out got more attention than mine did…ah, vanity.

  2. Jeffrey Johnson

    Being 52 and growing up in the 70’s I knew I was gay at 11. It was not that I wanted to come out but being from a steel working family I went the other way. Married had a child and was in the closet. I came out 10 years ago and have never felt more free to be the man I am today. God bless Michael. And Gods speed to the world.

  3. Jay

    Listen I’m really happy too. But think of the pressure on this kid. If he doesn’t turn out to be a really talented player – assuming he even gets a chance – he’s gonna be treated really badly. He’s extremely brave – more than we even know.

  4. Cristofur

    It’s about time a football player came out. Football and rugby are thought of as some of the most masculine sports, so this helps eliminate the stigma. And hopefully this help other self hating gays accept that masculinity comes in all forms (*duh).

  5. donald

    HOORAY! this is important,not only because a male pro-athlete has come out. but MORE SO because a male,pro-athlete who is BLACK has come out. for those that aren’t black and gay,u can’t imagine the stigma of being black,gay and having no role models to emulate. not all black gay/bi men are thugs,DL or even out. we should ALL pat this man on the back and support him,regardless of our own ethnicities,societal status. he’s now one of OUR own! he may stumble and fall,but we have to support him AND EACH OTHER-TOGETHER WE STAND……….

  6. Osei

    When I started reading my first thought was when would this writer make the article about himself. Did not take long for him to do it.

    It is important even if you are not a celebrity that you own who you are to the entire world and not let anyone use it to control how you relate in this world. It also gives one the freedom and power to live in honesty and truth.

    And for other NFL football players who never had the guts not then and not now (you know yourselves) how does it feel to continue living the lie?

  7. Tavon Moaney

    I like to cook an play video games an go out to thr movie an go bowling an got to eat I like to stay in door an cuddly I to please him iam looking a friend an find love

  8. Jay in Chicago

    @Christofur: I totally agree. Even in today’s society where being gay is more accepted than 20 or more years ago, gay men are still automatically seen as overly effeminate, weak and easy to beat up. Having a big young, very masculine, strapping football player who’s very like on his way to the NFL come out the closet just shatters that automatic assumption that the rest of us easily fit into the stereotypical image as represented by Will & Grace’s Jack. A lot of us don’t have Michael’s hulking build and physique that comes with the territory in football, but we are not represented by the image of Jack either. I have mad love for the more fem among for the shit they endure even from guys in our own community for their bravery in living their personal truths, but society needs to get comfortable with the fact that our fem brothers aren’t the only part of the gay male spectrum.

  9. Pumpyt

    I suppose it’s good for him to come out. And maybe in his doing so, someone out there will find the courage to find themselves. But…..I came out when it was hard. I realized I was gay in high school, and came out then. I wasn’t a football star getting ready to be drafted. I wasn’t an NBA player with a successful career behind me. I was just a kid in high school with no car, no job, an older sibling in college who was too far away to support me, and two parents who hated me for it. Just cuz this guy plays football, doesn’t mean the world should care that he’s gay. No one cared that I was.

  10. Jb

    Having been married for 8 years and having 4 amazing and beautiful children, and just coming out in May of 2013 I can totally see where you’re coming from. It’s about the social acceptance and coming to terms with being who you are as a person more than anything. I knew at a young age I was “different”. From the stripping games with the neighbor boys when I was 10, to the hand jobs in the backseat of the school bus when I was 15 to the night at my high school senior class party in the tent with my best friend. It wasn’t as socially acceptable then as it is now. Granted there’s still stigma and social awkwardness, and feelings, dreams and lives I crushed when I came out myself; nonetheless, it happens. Having the “celebrity” world come to terms with who they are I feel helps people younger than myself to accept who they are and be more likely to come out of the “closet” sooner, and possibly somewhat easier. With society seeing these big name people coming out it shows we have become more accustomed to it. Just had to get my 2 cents worth in. Stepping off my soap box now.

  11. mr mike

    I think people need to focus on themselves and as long as Michael Sam plays good that’s all that hat is off to you Michael for commingle out

  12. Tiger Wilson

    The real reason is because sports are a symbol of masculinity. So in order for a gay man, a queen, a nancy, or other slur used to describe a homosexual can not only play but compete at a higher level than 90 percent of the world, it makes a straight man question his own masculinity. Simply a case of the fragile male ego.

  13. guy who likes discussion

    I feel like whoever wrote this really has not brushed up on history. By stepping forward and counting urself as “one of us” you are setting a stage for tolerance, it is why gay marriage has even came this far and it was due for the fact that the activists have been fighting for this since the 1980s and at that time being silent meant death for the community. By saying he is gay, he is actually like Jackie Robinson was for black players in Baseball, and he is opening the door for others like him to play in openly and honestly in the face of extreme hatred being thrown his way.

  14. pumaking

    One more item in “who really gives a shit category.” Not interested in asking anyone’s sexuality, nor am I interested in anyone telling me. I will judge you by your character and your actions.

  15. Hillie

    A blk gay man, his hurdles are like all yet differently the same. A warrior . God bless his courage and where ever this journey will lead him.

  16. John

    First of all, I am disappointed that this blog was posted today when this story was front page news on Sunday. Since then, this blog has posted about underwear models and what hockey or other athlete you fantasize about. Play to the stereotypes much?

    Second, I can not believe you have an issue with this. Michael Sam is exactly what the gay world needs. He will show the NFL that he is a perfectly normal NFL player, that they are afraid of a gay player for absolutely nothing.

    It was kind of like me with my dad. He was extremely uncomfortable with homosexuality, but I still came out to him while living with him. I did that so he could see that I wasn’t some sort of freak, but still just his normal son who happened to be attracted to guys.

    I assume Michael Sam has done this ahead of time, because he just wants as normal of a personal and professional life as he can get.

  17. Brizil

    Thank you…. the one person I believed that their view was true(Blog “Dave”)!!! I believe the fact that men can come out n be strong and say the truth of who they r is a bigger n better MAN.. we r not all wht we (or they) think we r!!!!we r human… With a strong understanding of WHO we r!!!!

  18. TEXSON

    Michael’s been out for YEARS,and what’s more he’s the SEC defensive player of the year which is testament to his ability as a player…They don’t just award that to anyone. Kid’s got talent and lots of support from family,friends,teammates and virtually anyone who knows him. Reality is he could possibly be a mid-round draft pick,depending on how he does in the combine that could boost his chances in the draft.

  19. John

    This is an awesome blog! Apparently I have to say that, or else my comment gets deleted…

    First of all, I am disappointed that this blog was posted today when this story was front page news on Sunday. Since then, this blog has posted about underwear models and what hockey or other athlete you fantasize about. Play to the stereotypes much?

    Second, I can not believe you have an issue with this. Michael Sam is exactly what the gay world needs. He will show the NFL that he is a perfectly normal NFL player, that they are afraid of a gay player for absolutely nothing.

    It was kind of like me with my dad. He was extremely uncomfortable with homosexuality, but I still came out to him while living with him. I did that so he could see that I wasn’t some sort of freak, but still just his normal son who happened to be attracted to guys.

    I assume Michael Sam has done this ahead of time, because he just wants as normal of a personal and professional life as he can get.

  20. goldenloverinmym

    Jeffery Johnson—-well i’m glad to know i’m not the only gay iron worker.i’m not out yet cuz i’m still workin in the same place for 7 more years till I can retire with full bennies.the iron workers I know r very homophobic n not a forgiving bunch.i’m happy for the kid and wish him the best of luck.i hope he does great that will help all the other closeted guys in the future,and maybe others will b more accepting…..Dean

  21. Nunya

    Yeah…he came out and most likely cost him his best options in the draft. Coming out is over rated. Why do it if it is only going to serve to harm your career…that was just a stupid move on his part. The boost it gave to gay rights will be short lived…the damage it does to his career is lifelong.

  22. Hunter0500

    It’s a matter of control. For people in the public eye, coming out is a buzz kill for the media who would be more thrilled if they had “gotten the hot scoop!” or cracked open that “top story!” When the media brings it out, it’s always more “scandalous!” than if the public figure announces it.

    The humor here is that gays have been in the NFL and other sports locker rooms for decades. Much like as in the rest of society. They’ve gone about living their lives privately like anyone would. For those players worried about an openly gay guy looking at them in the locker room, closet gay guys have been looking at them for years without incident. The real question for the worried players is “just what makes your big head think the gay guy would even be remotely interested in you?”

  23. Mario

    It’s important for the young teenager to know that gay people are not all Drag Queens of leather freaks showing the butts in chaps on the street, to bad there the ones that get noticed most the rest of us just blend in. To be respected we must be respectable… I’m a gay father of 3 children and grandfather of 6 and there may be someone close to me that your coming OUT may help

  24. JT

    Knowing where he’s coming from…I can understand him wanting to start his career with a clean slate. Not being ashamed of who he is and not having to live his life in the closet or being afraid to be seen out with his partner or other gay friends. You are more alone when you live a lie, because you have to keep telling lies to cover the one you told. So by him coming out he is now free to live his life in the open without all the questions on why I never see you with any ladies. Good for you….. stay strong my friend and live your life.

  25. Michael

    Michael Sam came out because he wanted to control his own story. Can you imagine the whisper campaign that could have been if he didn’t?

    Remember Jim McGreevey, former New Jersey Governor, being blackmailed because he was having a gay affair. The guy was forced to resign.

    Frankly, I think Michael Sam and any one else for that matter should be hired for their skills and abilities. His sex life should remain private. After all, straights don’t announce their sexuality?

    On the other hand, it does make me feel good when public figures proudly announce their gayness. In your face haters!!

  26. anonymous

    I don’t think the concern is that a gay man won’t be able to control himself in a locker room full of naked men. I think it has more to do with the straight men not being comfortable with a gay man seeing them naked, much like straight women would not be comfortable sharing a locker room with straight men. By allowing openly gay individuals into the locker rooms and bathrooms of those they are attracted to, you open the door to the argument that gender specific locker rooms and bathrooms should go away, which is something that our society hasn’t thought about or prepared to deal with yet. This is another example of our society that is quick to get to the end goal but fails to put in place the infrastructure required to support that end goal.

  27. poiu81

    How can he be “coming out” for publicity when his comments are almost assuredly going to diminish his prospects and cost him possibly millions of dollars. People should not comment on a sports issue if they do not understand the issue. What he has done is show an amount of character and integrity that is seldom shown not only in sports but all of society.

  28. G.

    Michael coming out is most important to the already professional closet, DL, gay, gay curious athletes, currently in their respective leagues who wish that someone else does it first to judge the reaction of their colleagues, the media and the public so they can determine if it’s “safe” for them to come out. If not Jason Collins, then Michael Sam, if not Sam, then the next professional athlete, eventually it will happen…gay professional athletes will be accepted and not a “novelty.

  29. Anonymous

    I like how this is actually one of those rare occurrences where people actually truly fit the definition of homophobic. Most of the time it’s just homo-hating, but this is where straight players are actually afraid of being leered at by a homosexual player in the showers.

  30. Chris J

    Amazing. I’m so happy that these guys are coming out. He’s showing that gay black guys they can be whatever they want and live how they want. I don’t know if others felt this way but it helps me sleep at night knowing guys have folks to look up to.

  31. darryl

    The way i feel about Michael Sans coming out, is simply HOORAY! For him. Doing it on his terms is the best way to stay ahead of the bullshit, that will come his way once his announcement goes public. For many it will be a good thing to see a Man in a sport like Football admit he’s attracted to other Men. Already there has been attacks on his character which we all knew would happen, i’am sure he’s prepared for the borage of questions heading his way. I haven’t see what’s bee posted pro or con, but what I will say to mr. Sans is keep the focus on where you want to go career wise. Don’t let anyone make you feel that you are not who you were before you came out. Nothing has changed, you are one of the best in the business, and any General Manager, or Owner will kick themselves in the face if they don’t sign you. This is a personal choice you made, so it cannot be used as a weapon against you by some scorned fool, or someone looking to out you. Before we know it, more Men will take the step you did, and live their lives the way they want. And they say that Gay Men don’t like sports lol. Fuck yeah we do!

  32. Mizzou man

    I go to the university of Missouri ….where he is from and from the buzz going around school he never kept it a secret everyone here knew and no one cared no one sold the story or did anything shady he is a good football player and the all we care about M-I-Z-Z-O-U mofos

  33. jm

    Personally while I appreciate the courage it takes to be honest with one self and others, I think that people in the public eye should live thier lives without telling the world. If it. Comes up, fine address it. But its in my opinion that until theres a reason that everyone and their dog should know, save you sex life for tje bedroom.

  34. Scarpien

    “Actually the only hub bub is from players who think gay man can’t control themselves in a locker room with naked men.”

    Everytime I hear something along the lines of those words I laugh since it totally makes NO sense that people still think like that. I mean, this guy was gay ALL ALONG, showering and getting undressed with them and never made a move on his teammates. Yet, the minute his teammates find out he’s gay all of a sudden they feel threatened, like now he’s gonna grope them or something. What stupid logic.

  35. allan

    it has always worried and bothered me that the stereo-types are the members of our “family” that the media picks up on. leather, queen, lipstick. granted, we are all members of the same club but i am none of these. and most of my friends aren’t. so, when i came out to my family, years and years ago, my sis wanted to know “what” i was. lol. i’ll be honest, thank god for “will and grace”… i know what you’re thinking, but finally, my family at least, got to see two side by side. i actually watched my sis go “ooooh”.

  36. David Natkios

    I agree, I think that there must be a teenager, or a kid out there waiting, but not requesting answers, guidance in what all this about being gay implies. I hope Sam keeps playing, and I do believe he is very brave by coming out in such a harsh sport world like the nfl, but also hope that teenager or kid would be able to reach for others like him/ her because of people like Michael Sam, and so many others who came out.
    Kudos for you Sir!!!!

  37. PE

    Almost all these posts have truth to them in whole or part, although some are not especially sensitive to a person’s individual circumstances’ which in the end should be the controlling factor in any decision to come out. If in coming out a individual determines it would be detrimental to himself, he should make his decision accordingly. It is true that circumstances are SO much better today than they were 60 years ago that some people don’t appreciate the complexity of such decisions. The most annoying comments are the “living a lie” ones, which really verge on insensitive cluelessness. It is not a lie they are living, it is their life determined by the totality of their circumstances which is not a “lie” but their reality and not any one else’s place to second guess–remember the adage about walking a mile in the other person’s moccasins before judging. In this decision of coming out, one size truly does not fit all.

  38. Brandon ellison

    Well I’m not into sports but people always wanted me in football I have a linebackers build but I think its good he came out it gives people that are scared to come out feel like there not alone I do other masculine things I’m into the outdoors camping fishing hunting I catch and eat frogs and turtles and I like woodworking I’m bi married and a redneck and it seems like theres the most homophobic people in the redneck community luckily being 6 foot 320 pounds they usually would rather be on my good side lol

  39. JD

    The world gave a heavy sigh of relief? I didn’t hear it. Why would it do that? The “hub bub” from the players is a legitimate concern for them and shouldn’t be downplayed or dismissed. No one should be made to feel uncomfortable in a situation like a locker room. To many of us only seem to be concerned about how it impacts our side be we never seem to want to give that same courtesy to the other side.

  40. Jerry

    To the author of this article, first you say “My issue is why do these sports figures, actors, politicians, etc. feel the need to publicly proclaim their homosexuality?” as if you have an “issue” with it, then the rest of your article attempts to explain why someone might do this foolish thing. As a gay person, if you have an issue with people coming out, then you are part of the problem.

  41. James

    GOOD FOR HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im very proud of this young black man and his strength to be himself. Its VERY tough to be BLACK,gay and a football player. White guys don’t know what it is like to be black or let alone be a gay black man. He tackled on all 3 issues with great dignity and that is a wonderful quality. Now, if WE can only stop using the term, “that’s so gay!” Using such speech only makes us sound ignorant like the same bullies that use such language to put us down. I have had to correct lots of young people as to why you should never use,”that’s so gay” when describing something they don’t like! We are in an era where we are becoming much more visible and accepted so, lets try to create a better world of understanding.

  42. queer_heathen

    also, i hope he doesn’t pull that NFL shit where he ends up with a white woman or in this case a white boy, ugh. Please keep it in the race or if you can’t, fuck a mexican. don’t be a sell out.

  43. rubirosa

    If a man or woman that came out was not a celebrity, what would it matter? No fanfare, no political upheaval, no analyzing a motive. It would just be another one of us identifying himself or herself. What is the big deal? My role model was Lance Loud in the 70’s. He was part of a PBS documentary “An American Family”. He gave me the push I needed to be who I am now. If anything, we need positive role models to help shape our futures.

  44. Jay in Chicago

    @JD: While that may be a legitimate concern for some, that whole sentiment still reeks of saying gay athletes are just big walking hormones with no sense of self control. Yeah some guys may be uncomfortable, but news flash to you and the straight world, athletes who happen to be gay do know how to keep their libidos in check, be professional and concentrate on doing their parts to help win games. Other big newsflash, just because a lot of these guys haven’t played on a team with an out gay athlete does NOT mean they never played their sport with a gay teammate. I can give a pass to those who may have never interacted with gay people, but a lot of this brouhaha isn’t coming from some well earned fear of getting hit on in the locker room and those folks just need to grow the hell up.

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