Gay in Soccer
Win, lose, or draw, we are supporters! Last year when Vancouver sucked, New England sucked, who cared? Their fans Maybe. Who were the ones that were there through thick and thin chanting, singing, and showing their team colors and spirit? The supporters! In the supporters section you have the dedicated, die hard, and sometimes rabid fans. You also have a family.
We are your non-traditional yet dysfunctional family. Your doting, over protective mother. Your sexy incestuous cousin (whom you wish you weren’t related to). The siblings you love, and in-laws you wish you could do without. The crazy, loud, obnoxious uncle to whom you’re not sure how you’re related. And your pushy well-meaning father.
Now for my supporters group we’ve got all of that and then some! We have the people that fight over “their gays.” They want to protect us, include us, and sometime unintentionally tokenize us.
I was talking to our supporters group’s co-president about partnering to do an official Emerald City Supporters ECS away viewing party at a gay bar. He was asking were would be the best places to have it, and the possible repercussions of the locations (such as stepping on toes of the bar, and the feelings of other organizations.)
As my boyfriend was walking through the supporters section and heard three times the word f****t.
This is the part of the post when I do some self-disclosure. My last name (from birth) is F A G O T. If you look it up in Webster’s dictionary it means ‘a bundle of sticks’ add another g and it is the derogatory word. (If you talk to the average American they believe it is the same thing.) In school, including high school, I was always teased about my last name. I didn’t care, it was on my letterman’s jacket for goodness sake. So people have always had people joke around with me.
I say that it’s the universe’s cosmic joke.
So I have taken the popular or not so popular choice and put it on the back if my Sounders jerseys too. I get laughed at, called names, and people complaining about it behind my back. Even on the message boards of the Emerald City Supporters. I had one man that was offended because of his gay brother. So he went on a message board to talk about it. I had a friend of mine tell me about it. He has now offered to buy me a beverage for “blowing me up” but let me say this: if you are offended about things don’t let them go. Talk to the person, let them know, and get their side. It might be in good fun; it might not be!
In the world of soccer it is hard to get away from talk of gays, homos, queers, but not in the ways that I would like. During this current season I have heard my friends refer to players on other teams as ‘damn queer’ or to stupid people in the stadium as ‘gay ass’ each time I gently remind them of who it is they are talking about when they say those things. (Me — their friend standing right next to them. Not just an idea)
Everyone always justifies why they said it. Even our own Eddie Johnson in a tweet to Stuart Holden asking about his recovery said “I miss you and Euan no homo” we all know what he meant. Am I being sensitive? I don’t think so. What I really want to do is spark a conversation about people thinking that just cause you don’t say the f-word when calling some one or something gay, queer, homo, femmy that it’s ok. I will stand up for what I believe. I hope you will too!
With the North Carolina vote, President Obama’s support of gay marriage, and my state trying to put to vote gay marriage. I think it is time again to speak up and let people know what you think is right.
Please, I would love to hear what you have to say. Let’s make this a conversation!
Grant f. (@ducki98444)