I just read an article on CNN.com about three incidents in the last few months where adult male sports “heroes” are throwing around anti-gay slurs in heated moments when things aren’t quite going their way. Kobe Bryant is a hot mess anyway with his checkered past with women and alleged assault, and then the other two, Joakim Noah and Roger McDowell, have absolutely no excuses. But when it’s done, they each issue a public, “emotional” apology, pay a large amount of money to “the league,” and then everybody tells them “it’s ok,” including gay rights organizations. It makes me kind of sick to my stomach; the collusion factor here is ridiculous.
If I uttered an offensive slur every time something didn’t go my way, I’d spend the day issuing apologies all over the place. I don’t care how famous these guys are or how accomplished. Get your big boy pants on and learn how to have your tantrums without using words like “fag,” “faggot,” “homo,” “cocksucker,” and all the other lovely epithets that CHILDREN use to describe each other all the time.
My dad used to tell me to just let those words roll off my back when kids used them to taunt me in school. “People don’t mean anything by them.” I tried to believe him for a long time, but that was before either of us knew that I was gay. Now, I think we both feel differently.
People do mean something when they say these words. When you’ve been on the receiving end, and those words define something about you, even in a negative way, you know that they mean something. Trust me.
And trust me on something else. I’m not terribly interested in any pity parties and “woe is me” mentalities. Fines and public apologies don’t do it for me anymore. Cleaned clocks and modified behaviors do it for me. If people like Kobe, Joakim, and Roger need that explained, just let me know.
For a “fag” I hear I’m pretty good at explaining things.