Tuesday, February 13, 2007

ESPN: Page 2 : Ability is the issue -- not orientation


ESPN: Page 2 : Ability is the issue -- not orientation: "Ability is the issue -- not orientation

By LZ Granderson
Page 2

Last week, in reaction to John Amaechi's revealing his sexual orientation, I wrote a column suggesting, among other things, that an openly gay player in a major sport would not have as hard a time as some people think. While most of the e-mails I received agreed with the sentiment, I kept reading a variation of this question: How are straight players supposed to act with a gay teammate in the shower? Translation: the gay guy is going to be checking out teammates and trying to have sex with them.

That certainly was Shavlik Randolph's concern when he said "as long as you don't bring your gayness on me I'm fine." While I find it comical that straight players like Shav are so delusional they believe everybody wants to see them naked, I can understand the concern. After all, this ain't Europe. Here nudity means sex. That's one of the reasons some guys feel it's necessary to gay bash in the locker room -- they want all the naked men around them to know they are not thinking about sex. This overreaction is similar to the one that prevents guys from saying another guy is attractive, as if the admission means they want to sleep with him.

Juvenile, yes, but it is what it is.

And the truth is men know men -- a straight guy in a locker room full of women is going to look, so it's safe to assume a gay guy in a locker room full of men is going to do the same.

Or not.

Meet Adam Goslin, a senior at Washington University in St. Louis. Goslin, a DL on the football team, is not on the DL -- he's openly gay. His family knows, his friends know, the entire football team knows. "Goose," as they call him, started telling folks on campus he was gay around his sophomore year.


But dude, what about the shower?

"That's one of the things that cracks me up when people talk about gay teammates," Guthrie says. "How is it that the straight guys are the ones who feel threatened? I mean, what do they think is going to happen, the guy is going to rape them or something? If anything I think it's the gay guy who would feel awkward in that situation."

Joe Lubelski is from Chesterland, Ohio, a small town of about 3,000. He says he's never met a gay person in his life before Goose and was shocked to think one could play football.

"The shower thing popped in my head at first," Lubelski said. "You know, wondering if he was going to look at me or something, but then I realized just how stupid it was to be worried about taking a shower next to somebody. Especially a friend and a teammate."


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