Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why it's not me

The last post about my slump buster, I had someone leave an article from a sports writer who is trying to get a MLB player to come out of the closet and become a spokesman for gay athletes. Here are my thoughts.

I did read it.
I am not a potential trailblazer
I am not the gay Jackie Robinson.

This dilemma has plagued my soul: Do I come out? Do I continue to hide?

This blog has been my release so to speak. When I first entered the minor league system I had endured 4 years of high school and 4 years of college where almost everyday I heard the word faggot being thrown around like the word "the"

It comes so freely and it scares the shit out of me.

I don't know who you are Jeff Pearlman. I don't even want to try and google you. Right now, as a gay-closeted MiLB player I do not want to come out. There are so many reasons why I won't come out and say who I am.

First, I have a feeling that my team would void my contract and then it's pretty much over for my career in baseball. I dream of being an everyday player at a Major league club. The fact that I sleep with men instead of women would end my career. In today's environment I want to make sure I can make the most money for my talent.

If I were an ARod and I were to come out that would be big news. SportsCenter wall-to-wall. If a utility player on the Royals were to come out I think it would be big news for a few days and then the player would quietly be sent down to the minors. The club would also try and let him out of his contract.

Those are the thoughts that go through my head when I think about coming out.

Stepping up to the plate and hearing "You're - a - faggot. clap clap clap clap clap" echo throughout every stadium I show up to. Its really tough to try and think of enduring that.

Do I think that one day it will happen? Yes. Am I going to be the one who comes out. Right now the answer is no.

You can read entries on this blog where I have hidden who I am from my teammates because I fear this.

It would start with talking to my agent about if this is the right move for me to take. I don't think any player out there would have their agent tell him "Yeah. Go For it!"

I respect what you want but I don't think that there is an easy way of doing this.

There have been plenty of gay players playing ball who have come out after the fact. A few years ago hen I got hurt I decided to get an MBA so once my time playing ball was over I had some kind of advanced degree to fall back on.

Right now. Where I am with myself and where I see the business of baseball, you will not see a gay player come out publicly.


Anonymous said...

Probably a good idea to make some money before coming out.

However, I think if you were going to make it to the MLB you would have by now. No offense.

Kelly said...

I think you have to come out when you feel most comfortable. I too was fresh in a new career that was high profile (so to speak) and having my sexuality "out" there would have caused some problems (saw a coworker finally released from contract becuase of his openess)... While I think it would be a honor to break down barriers, you have to do things at your own pace and when you feel comfortable doing so. Enjoy your time in baseball...and when you get to a position where you have enough money or enough support... then come out... until then just live your life. If you are having fun on and off the field, why potentially damage that now. Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

It's really nobody's business - especially if you are a public figure and the public is middle-america-sports-fans

Chris said...

Good for you... you have to do what's right for YOU, not what anyone else thinks needs to be done for their agenda. If baseball is what's important to you right now, then that's that. Being gay is only one part of your life.

Don't let the unpragmatic idealists get you down!

Andrew said...

Slugger, I agree with you 100% and would never want to be subjected to anyone’s harsh judgment. Anyone who’s an athlete understands how brutal and awful it can be. Imagine being alienated in every way. People think, oh, today everyone will be accepting. Yes, the “gay” issue has gathered some major press, so it’s more visible, but I don’t see a day where you’ll see sports stars come out of the closet. The reason being is that gay sports stars are a small majority, very small -- and they know what will happen if they come out. So anyone that questions, I’d like to see you step up and step out. No, it’s no fun hiding it, but it beats being subjected to ridicule every minute-- the stares and whispers, no fun guys.

james said...

thank you for addressing this and while i might wish some superstar player (or even a pretty good player) comes out sometime, i have to say i respect your decision to live as you want. why? because nobody knows what it is like until they are in your shoes.

i realize this is your outlet too, and i thank you for at least letting some strangers into your life in this way. i also respect what a sportswriter might say, but i have to say it's much easier for him, as a straight sportswriter, to say a gay player should come out than to actually do it -- he's not the one that would have to live with all the consequences 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

take care of yourself.

VpO said...

It's your life to live, not there's. Tell them to fuck themselves. You'll come out when your dam ready.

However, if you're Jacoby Ellsbury or Grady Sizemore, please email me! lol

Anonymous said...

Man I haven't read your blogs in awhile and just caught up. As far as coming out, I don't get why so many gay guys pressure others to come out. As for me, i'm a really discreet bi guy and I've told a few friends and family but have recently decided not to tell anyone else. I found out it does spread and it spreads fast. Its not that the people I told weren't people I couldn't trust but you know how it goes, so I completely understand the need for discretion.

email me sometime if you ever wanna chat it up

abristolnovella said...

I honestly don't see a reason to 'come out' or to be anyway accepted as being different from any kind of social norm, cos at the end of the day, there is no difference.

SXJ said...

I totally agree. It's the big stars the retired ones maybe who need to come out first and make everyone comfortable with the idea.

Anonymous said...

we're ur therapy dude. concentrate on your game. we'll fantasize on the lockerroom stuff. nothing wrong with what ur doing and u should be guilt free. life is hard enuf. most of ur teammates have done puberty stuff and probably wouldn't care -- but its the marginal ones that are the most homophobic and ruin it for everyone else. so just chill. ur time will come both in sports and play. Don.

secret blogger said...

dude the decision lies with you. dont let anyone force you to come out, its upto you.

secret blogger said...

dude the decision lies with you. dont let anyone force you to come out, its upto you.

luvs said...

slugger, i agree with what many on this feedback page have told you - the decision as to if and when to come out has to be yours.

Joe said...

It is your life, and you should not have to feel pressure to come out. Honestly, why does it matter to the rest of the world?

You are right to have fears and doubts about coming out. While I am not a professional athlete, I completely understand your position. I am a middle school teacher that does not disclose the fact that I am gay. I live in a very conservative, right-wing, bible belt portion of the US. I have constant fears that parents will actually pull their kids out of my class if it is learned that I am gay. (It may sound crazy, but I actually witnessed a parent bring up the fact that one of my friends was a lesbian...this was a parent that had a problem with the teacher, not her sexuality. Nonetheless, it was used as a weapon to get her fired. Luckily, the principal stood up and said we are not going down that road. He instantly put an end to that attack.)

I cannot imagine what would happen to my career if it was discovered I was gay. At the same time, why does that part of my life matter to everyone? When I am in school, I am a professional. When I am out of school, I am a professional. I teach my students in the classroom, and I try to teach them right and wrong...even outside the classroom. They know a lot about my life, but the fact that I am gay is something I don't publicize because it is no one's business but my own.

So, if you don't feel the need to come out, good for you!

Cincinnati NAMjA said...

It does take alot of guts to come out, espesially in the sports arene. You will come out when you areready, and you will feel much better for it.

Anonymous said...

Slugger, I understand where you're coming from 100%. I didn't even come out to any of my college teammates. Screw that. The locker room and clubhouse is hard to explain to those that aren't in one everyday. I hear "what a fag" said all the time in reference to all kinds of shit not directed at me but it's said with such disdain. I've heard the coaches talking shit about fags etc.. I'm not about to bring that shit down on myself to play ball. It's not that big of a deal and it is all at the same time. So I keep my shit on the DL and I think me and my teammates are all better off for it for the time being. I'll have time to be out later after I'm done playing. In the meantime I do check out their bodies and jack to it later. It's my revenge.


Anonymous said...

Weighed against all of that: some day, you will be free.

Don't wait too long for that day to come.

John B said...

I agree with the people saying that it's your decision. Luckily I work in a profession where it's not a big deal.

I would however advocate that you come out to your family because you need to know you're accepted in some aspect of your life. Of course it's always your decision and I don't think it's fair when gays try to force other gays to come out. Someone will be "the trailblazer" but it's gonna be hard as hell and I don't blame you for not wanting ridicule from fans and teammates.

Hopefully there will come a day when it doesn't matter what an athlete's sexual orientation is and you can play ball openly.

Anonymous said...

first. do what'sever important for you.
second. i do have to disagree that a star player coming out would necessarily be bad. imagine if Mike Piazza gave a different answer at his press conference. i'm sure the Mets front office had already market studied it out. I think even the coach at the time said he was prepared for it. with all the gay capital in NYC, it probably would have been met with great interest. imagine the Mets playing in San Francisco -- or any other city for that matter. A whole new demographic would have gone to the game - women included. Also imagine the endorsements: Absolut, Nike, etc. Some would argue Mike gave the wrong answer. In any event, he soon got traded away. Don.

Living 2 lives in Philly said...

wow, I feel like a real perv now. everybody is talking all sweet and psychologist-like to you about coming out; or not. I just wanted to say i love your blog, i'm not out either and I love looking at str8(or so they say) jock boys.
My latest quest is the highly publicized jail bait - Bryce Harper. I just wanna see a shot with no shirt, some biceps and sweaty pits!
I know, I sound sick, huh?
Other "crushes" have been Duke's, JJ Redick, Phillies, Cole Hamel, Spain's bball boy, Ricky Rubio...
So dude, away from all of the heavy, intense life talk in your blog...who do you think are the hottest baseball players today?
What about just hot athletes in general?
I support you 110% bro - hang in there, it gets easier in time!
See you around here man!
"Living 2 lives in Philly"

Grand said...

kinda selfish reason but if you were to come out, i think this blog would end up being abandoned and i love reading your blog lol

Log Cabin Republican said...

I just came across this blog today and I've enjoyed reading it. I'm an out 28 year old in Chicago, finishing medical school. I enjoyed some talent in sports - tennis namely - nothing high profile or even low profile lol, nothing where it was more than local popularity/school popularity, a few statewide tournaments. I do, however, have more popularity as a community volunteer and youth group founder and leader.
Having said that, the pressure I experienced was more so from having a regionally well known and highly respected professional family of surgeons. It was kind of hard coming out in the country club social scene of my town, insomuch as it is a social scene. There isn't much pressure in academia to stay closeted, so I didn't experience any discrimination. However, as a glbt youth group leader who volunteers with struggling young adults coming out, I could never in good conscience validate their desire to stay closeted. At a certain point, it's not fair to oneself or ones potential significant other to hide. Whether you're aware of it or acknowledge it, or perceive it as a barrier, it does stunt the evolution of a relationship. It can only go so far covered by a veil of deceit. But, if you're making a relationship work and he is patient enough to wait, then it has the potential to flourish for awhile.
Just one last question as well, from a solely curious point of view. What is your biggest fear about dating a more "open" person? Do you feel the desire to date only straight acting people stems from any self loathing or fear? I always just figured "straight acting is still acting." I get that some people's personalities don't always need to akin with either machismo or flamboyance- my personality has no leanings wither way- but I recently met a guy who is an actor, is in a lot of commercials and minor roles, and does some modeling, I was crazy for him, he always told me how hot he thought I was, but after the first time we got drunk with each other, he told me I acted "gayer than he thought." I don't get why that mattered- he's a lot dumber than what I'm comfortable with but I overlooked it bc he was funny and interesting. I'm just saying, we all have preferences, but if we don't want society to discriminate against us, we need to stop discriminating against the others in our community.
Best of luck with your endeavors! I hope you find what you're looking for :) and congratulations on all your success.