Article Title:Sports and gays - like oil and water?
Category:Ask Our Expert
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Published on:22nd May 2005 - 12:00 pm
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Story ID:739
Text:I'm a gay man who really enjoys going to the rugby but all my gay friends make me feel like some sort of leper. They can't understand it. Are gays and sport really poles apart? - Martin, Auckland Jacquie comments: You must have a very narrow circle of shallow friends! First off I would broaden my horizons as far as friends go... why not join the gay rugby team, at least as a supporter. Gay people come from all walks of life and consequently have diverse interests just the same as our straight cousins. I do not think gays and sports are poles apart. Let's face it, there wouldn't be so many muscle Mary's if that was the case. Remember there are the Gay Games held internationally with NZ featuring among the champs. -Jacquie Guest advisor Carol Bartlett comments: Boy, you mix with atypical gays! Sport is huge in the gay community - just take a look at - and the exercised buffed bodies in the site's images. Rugby is a New Zealand obsession and my gay friends are mostly rugby mad. Tell you what Martin, if you can't find any gay men to freeze in the stands or sit and yell at the T.V. with, find some lesbians - a large number of us love rugby (and cricket) and would welcome another voice yelling at the television. - Carol Guest advisor Jay Bennie comments: No, gays and most sports are not poles apart but I have a sneaking feeling that gay men and rugby might often be on different trajectories. Rugby in New Zealand has for years epitomised the rough, tough, 'prove your manhood by getting pissed and shagging sheilas image of manhood.' Hyper-heterosexual images abound in rugby promotion to this day and I suspect that, other than creating the occasional erotic moment, this is just not an environment that attracts gay men when there are plenty of alternatives available that do not conflict with our sexuality. 'Our type' are not made to feel welcome. If that's correct it's not surprising that gay men often feel little or no connection with rugby at any playing or spectator level. However, there's no reason that we shouldn't enjoy participating in any sport we wish and lots more reasons to enjoy watching a sport well played. Watching Tana Umaga hurtle towards the try line, or joining a hastily assembled Touch team at a picnic are great fun. See if you can convince your yet-to-recover-from-Rugby-itis friends to join you at a match. There's a good chance they'll change their attitude! -Jay - 22nd May 2005
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