I also work with gay men and lesbian women. A high percentage of both sexes play sports at quite a high level, some at the state level. In Europe, that would equate to playing for their country.
It is more common for the women to be \'out\' about their sexual preference. It appears to make little or no difference to their status as sportspersons. They are successful athletes who happen to be lesbian.
The male situation is more difficult for gay athletes. There is still a stigma to being gay in the USA, mainly because of the powerful Christian movement.
A friend told me once that she was interested in Christianity while at college in the US in the 1960s but was put off by their attitude to people of colour. They showed her where it said in the Bible that blacks were inferior beings.
Since then, the Church has accepted that this is not the case and that, whatever colour you are, you are still a child of God and equal in the eyes of the creator.
It seems to me that the church will eventually realize that gays and lesbians are indeed equal in the sight of their god as they belatedly did with their attitude to people of color.
OK... Back to football. Remember how the first black players were treated by some racist fans? I remember bananas being thrown at black players and racist chants at our own Goodison Park.
It seems that we are a bit more mature about the colour of our footballers these days, especially as many of our favorites are people of colour.
I am confident that the same attitude change will occur concerning gay footballers. We all want to be ourselves, as true to ourselves as we can, to be whole and free to express our feelings. Just imagine how it would feel if we were ostracized because we supported our beloved Everton FC. If people would not let us marry other Evertonians or shunned us if we wore the blue.
There is no doubt that we watch gay footballers every week and that we respect and admire their abilities. I wonder if you would lose that respect if you found out they were gay.
Let's remember we have overcome much of the racist issues in football and look to do the same with homophobia.
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1 Posted 05/06/2010 at 21:58:14
2 Posted 05/06/2010 at 22:07:52
3 Posted 05/06/2010 at 22:13:30
4 Posted 05/06/2010 at 22:00:14
However, as you said with Messi; if everything else footballers get up too in their private lives can be dismissed if they play well, then what's the difference if they're gay? Examples would be Barton, Gerrard and Boywer.
5 Posted 05/06/2010 at 22:41:18
Can't imagine our team only ever being made up of ginger people either — and the probability is higher than gays.
I have nothing against gays or gingers — but would just be weird if our whole team was either wouldn't it. If they were gays and ginger and then playing away from home in our new strip... just wouldn't be right?
6 Posted 05/06/2010 at 22:45:52
7 Posted 05/06/2010 at 22:46:06
Discriminating because of somebody's skin colour just makes no sense and is just plain racist.
Saying, a gay man — more likely they will be camp and emotional and more attributes like a woman — is more based on fact.
8 Posted 05/06/2010 at 22:45:27
9 Posted 05/06/2010 at 23:00:20
10 Posted 05/06/2010 at 23:14:32
I am puzzled though that the homosexual lifestyle is called 'gay' when in fact it promotes misery by promoting conduct that is killing millions.
11 Posted 05/06/2010 at 23:31:12
The thing is, stereotypes, whether fair or not, usually originate from a commonly held perception. From this perspective, I would argue that professional sportsmen (women are totally different, and probably opposite, case) are slightly less likely to be gay than the general population because of the traditional 'manly' virtues associated with being sporty. If, for example, 5% of the male population of the country were homesexual, I would expect a lower percentage than that of gay professional footballers.
Sadly, it's almost certainly true that there are some gay professional footballers and they don't tell anyone because they're afraid of the reaction. Our American friends will know better than me the reaction to John Amaeche's (sp?) revelations when his career finished, and the Welsh Rugby Union star Gareth Thomas made sure he waited till his career was pretty much over before coming out.
I guess this issue has arisen due to our pink kit (pathetic really) but it also reflects the lack of much else to talk about. It's a non-issue, but probably for the wrong reason, namely that no-one has tried to break the boundaries yet (Justin Fashanu was before my time, so I don't really know the full story, though unfortunately I know the ending) rather than that it genuinely doesn't matter to people. I find prejudices and stereotypes of this type, or at least strong negative views about them, completely ridiculous, so I can't say it's ever going to bother me. If Everton won the league with a squad of 25 screaming queens, I'd see a league winning Everton and nothing else, and not give a fuck what anyone else said or thought.
12 Posted 05/06/2010 at 23:55:37
Which brings us back to the shirt and the thought that a guy can't wear pink because it is effeminate. Well, I guess it is. But did you know that a hundred years ago the colour associated with boys WAS pink and the colour for girls WAS blue?
Society changes and so does perception. I guess that's the point. But the shirt Is not a statement nor is it intended to raise the issues but it takes a great guy to proudly wear team colours and frankly we have some great guys both on the pitch and even greater supporters off it. We are Everton.
13 Posted 06/06/2010 at 00:21:01
Is that why the Yak runs in a strange way?!!!
14 Posted 06/06/2010 at 00:27:37
15 Posted 06/06/2010 at 00:37:33
Did you actually mean to say that? Is your name — DICK FEARon — a pseudonym, indicative of your homophobia (ie fear and misunderstanding of homosexuality)?
16 Posted 06/06/2010 at 00:52:06
I was brought up by some of the nicest Jesuits you could wish to meet, and some were definitely of a different sexual persuasion to that which they promulgated.
As long as same sex relationships are not made mandatory, no problem.
Still can't resist a dig at Torres, though - yeah, I know, negates my argument, but...
17 Posted 06/06/2010 at 01:12:46
If you simply refuse to identify people by class, race or sexuality then it becomes a non-subject and you can get on with treating them as people.
If you are still identifying sexuality in football as a problem then it gives people like Dick Fearon the opportunity to spit their bile in public.
Dick, sexual disease is spread by not using condoms, not by gay sex. Maybe you should get on to Catholic Web and have a go at the Pope. That might be worthwhile and have a bit more substance.
18 Posted 06/06/2010 at 05:17:57
I'm born and raised in New York City. I've worked with and seen as many gay men (hiding nothing about themselves) as any hetero male. Beyond thinking "Ugh" watching two men kissing, I could care less what the next guy's doing as long as he's not doing it with my woman.
Albert - You're skating on thin ice stating discrimination against gay males is because of christianity. If you actually live in America, you know well the biggest Jesus-slinging gay-bashers have been outed for the man-loving fellows they are.
This must really be the off-season for this conversation to be on ToffeeWeb. Some men are gay. That's that and so what. I'd posit that when we are discussing (military, sports) areas where it's all about men, some of the men we're discussing prefer guys to girls.
EFC 2010-11 - LIft the League Cup next May. I don't care if some of the players will be celebrating with their male lovers or female lovers. Just win the damn thing.
Who gives a shit? I don't.
By the way Albert, don't compare gay bashing to our ongoing problems with our centuries-old problem between Black and White.
19 Posted 06/06/2010 at 05:28:56
Look at the artcle below this. It isn't, apparently, enough to support Everton; we must also despise Kopites.Doesn't make a lot of sense given the context of the city and the interningling of Blues and Reds, but hey! It confirms our place in the tribe.
And so with Gay issues. If being Gay is not a problem, can we look forward to a season where GP is relatively free of homophobic taunts? Fat chance. Doubtless the herd mentality plays its part... individual responsibility easily loses itself in the heat of the moment with 40,000 other screaming fans, and we allow ourselves to express things that on our own, in the cool light of day, we would never dream of doing.
However, is that a good enough excuse? Would we excuse a crowd screaming the odious "Nigger" word at African players? I hope not (though sadly, a few at Goodison come very close to the KKK in their views). Perhaps a major change will also come with homophobic abuse, and it too will become just as unthinkable. I'd like to think so, so that I could share a major part of my life with my partner.
By the way, to the guy above who worries being gay might become mandatory: have no fear! There are stringent tests; a rigorous selection process! (Joke, feller ... it's a very diverse, accepting community. Something football needs to learn from.)
20 Posted 06/06/2010 at 05:56:18
21 Posted 06/06/2010 at 06:29:57
This is a fan site supporting EFC. Winning is everything. That some of the players (or fans) celebrate afterward with a stiff one in their mouth is meaningless. Let's lift the Trophy.
22 Posted 06/06/2010 at 10:53:07
As far as pink itself goes, I don't have a problem with pink and indeed have a couple of pink dress shirts I wear to work with a suit and they look great.
The football kit shade of pink is minging and hasn't been a colour the club has used for over 100 years (we aren't celebrating an anniversary). The Portsmouth keeper's shirt on the last game of the season was minging too and that was because of it's garish colour. Personally, I just don't like the shade of pink used on the kit, nothing to do with homophobia (married with two kids but have friends of all persuasions).
I'd have loved a 70s style bright yellow kit (I'd kill to have my 77-78 Everton away kit from boyhood with Latchford on it again even if it was scratchy as hell)
The link shows the colours we have played in before, including pink and red, but nothing as garish as this season's away colour:
Home - http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Everton/Everton.htm
Away - http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Everton/Everton-change-kits.html
23 Posted 06/06/2010 at 11:08:54
Now I am perplexed; is it really your opinion that a homosexual lifestyle does not promote or at least help to spread the rapidly worsening worldwide Aids tragedy?
Does the wearing of a condom by same sex couples make the act itself anything less than homosexual?
I am still at a loss as to why it is called Gay.
24 Posted 06/06/2010 at 11:38:53
25 Posted 06/06/2010 at 11:31:11
Am I expected to believe that condoms are always used in all same sex couplings? Pull the other one, its got bells on it.
26 Posted 06/06/2010 at 11:44:46
27 Posted 06/06/2010 at 11:48:44
Your prejudiced and ill-informed comments are embarrassing.
28 Posted 06/06/2010 at 11:53:59
29 Posted 06/06/2010 at 12:28:12
I was hoping for a discussion on 'Star Trek'.
30 Posted 06/06/2010 at 12:45:54
But back to the testosterone-fuelled world of football; mmmmmm... don’t know about that one. You can imagine some of the chants directed to an ‘outed’ footballer, and can you imagine the stick he’d get off other players, just remember the Robbie Fowler/Le Saux feud — and that rumour started because Le Saux visited art galleries!
Personally, I think we’re a decade away from gay footballers being accepted by fans; Albert’s analogy of black players is a fair point, as anyone who started watching football in the 70s would testify (remember Cliff Marshall’s debut?) and the ‘Everton are White’ chants from the fans not too long ago...
And finally, James Flynn's (#21) post: "This is a fan site supporting EFC. Winning is everything. That some of the players (or fans) celebrate afterward with a stiff one in their mouth is meaningless. Let's lift the Trophy"
If the marketing department had anything about them, they’d make lots of pink pounds with the DVD
31 Posted 06/06/2010 at 13:06:50
It's really only in Britian where people think what footballers do off the pitch matters. For example, Paulo Di Canio admitted he was a fascist in Italy. If that was in Britain, he would be sacked. What players do or say in their own time is up to them.
32 Posted 06/06/2010 at 13:23:03
Popeye the Sailor Man.
33 Posted 06/06/2010 at 13:30:20
In the US "a high percentage of both sexes play sports at quite a high level, some at the state level. In Europe, that would equate to playing for their country".
No doubt playing for the US national team would equate to playing for Planet Earth.
On the gay footballers point, when I ponder the existence of "gay footballer" I see the word "footballer" and I imagine a ball, a pitch and goalposts. Maybe the gay lobby and homophobes see the word "gay" and all the importance is attached to their sexuality.
34 Posted 06/06/2010 at 13:24:27
Grow up and live in the 21st Century. Gays and lesbians are welcome now and they are only discriminated against because of people like you and the Catholic Church.
There, rant over.
35 Posted 06/06/2010 at 13:32:22
Dick, by far the larger number of people with Aids is the straight community. The causes are ignorance and – in some cases – poverty, as well as the cultural (including religious) expectations in certain parts of the globe.
Do all gay people wear condoms? No – for the same sorts of reasons, perhaps with the addition of occasionally being too drunk to remember / care.
James Flynn: there is something of the School Prefect about you, but thank you for your various permissions. I'll pass them on to HQ for further action.
And lastly, David Hallwood. You suggest an admirable way forward in not wanting preferences forced onto the attention of others. I guess this will happen when the almost automatic choice of epithet at matches isn't homophobic; when the City of Liverpool and other places stops seeing quite so many homophobic attacks. Until then, I'd expect the level of militancy in the gay agenda to continue to be high.
36 Posted 06/06/2010 at 13:56:30
Honestly, who gives a shit if a player's gay or not? Can't believe this is even being debated.
37 Posted 06/06/2010 at 13:44:06
I'm certain that there are some gay footballers playing at quite a high level, they are secretive about their sexuality because, like it or not, the Neanderthal section of society will pipe up at every ground up and down the country and that player will be subject to chants and taunts, most of which will probably be more than crude and offensive. Football can be hostile at the best of times without making a rod for your own back, why put yourself through it? It is sad that this is the way of things but I don't blame them for keeping their sexuality secret.
I suppose another consideration would be the the mentality of your teammates. Would they accept you? Would they treat you differently? You can imagine some players not wanting to shower or change with openly gay team mates.
38 Posted 06/06/2010 at 17:04:50
As for the pink shirt, well it's a great excuse to get the misses to wear the badge a bit more!!
39 Posted 06/06/2010 at 17:27:17
In answer to your question, neither Reid or Heath are gay.
40 Posted 06/06/2010 at 17:49:13
Dick "Aids is the Gay Plague" Fearon — you seem to be stuck in a time warp — what's the view like from the 1980s?
41 Posted 06/06/2010 at 20:05:46
42 Posted 06/06/2010 at 23:13:58
43 Posted 07/06/2010 at 00:50:19
If I only like women does it make make male lesbian, if so can I have a large cash grant as seems to be the norm for minorities... Oh and do I get a discount off my new pink shirt?
44 Posted 07/06/2010 at 00:49:40
James Fylnn, if you find no interest why respond? This is an interesting subject, related to football as a whole. This is a site, yes to discuss Everton FC but also football as a whole, and we discuss a range of things from the politics, economics, tactics, shared/personal experiences and more, all relating to football. While Everton are currenlty on a haitus, I feel this sort of discussion is quite welcome and shows why this website is greater than any other fan website. Some subjects don't particulary interest me, but I dont comment on those ones. Simples.
On the subject raised by the post. It is quite an interesting subject. As much as people like to claim society is now tolerant of homosexuality, I beleive this is not totallly the case. Homosexuals may not openly be called x, y and z by the media or general public, but homophobia does exist.
In the sometimes tribal environment of the football stands, could you really imagine a footballer getting away with being gay? I couldn't, I believe it would be the focus of rival fans each and every game. Also, if a Phil Neville, or Tony Hibbert was gay, I believe it would be the focus of much of their criticism.
Also, in the wider context of sport including sponsorships, if David Beckham was gay, or Rooney, Gerrard, Messi, Ronaldo etc do you really think they would be accepted as they are? Would they hold the same commercial power? I don't think they would.
I do believe that footballers will still to this day be encouraged not to come out. Such actions could hamper their value, footballers are commodities and as such clubs (and agents of course) would not allow this.
To believe that there isn't one gay person out of the hundreds of footballers in the football league is ridiculous.
Of course when asked, 99% of fans will say "I don't care what he does in his bedroom", but if this was truly the case, why then don't they come out? This is the question that should be discussed.
45 Posted 07/06/2010 at 05:07:38
I only made the comment that started this stream off because someone made a small derogatory comment like, 'Can gays play football?'
I'm surprised and happy to see that this issue has been taken up by so many people with so many different and intelligent views.
This is what makes ToffeeWeb so great. There is intelligence mixed with the down-to-earth Scouse humor and grit. That comment about not caring if someone is gay so long as they don't shove it down my throat! Priceless.
But these comments brought up something deep for me. I live 6000 miles from GP and only catch the games on my laptop. It's great, but it's not being there. Nothing is like being there. That's why I so appreciate the articles detailing the match day trips and all the wonderful incidents that make up the football supporter experience.
Nothing is like walking into the Old Lady with your mates and feeling the anticipation rise. Anything could happen, and probably will.
What I miss most, besides the immediacy of the action and sharing that with thousands of others, are the live comments that come from the crowd. No humour is like Scouse humour. No one is as funny, sharp, insightful, and down-to-fukin-earth as a Scouser.
And there is a devilment inherent in it all. And there is an appreciation from the audience, usually a few thousand within earshot.
There is also a heartwarming sentimentality and camaraderie, a wave of feeling that reverberates around the ground. I should stop now, I'm getting a bit teary.
But that's what Everton means to me and so many of you also. COME ON YOU BLUES! This season we can do it!
46 Posted 07/06/2010 at 07:17:52
47 Posted 07/06/2010 at 10:38:54
Already made my views clear about the new kit. Love it. Different and quite powerful in it's own way. Complete non-issue.
As for the broader issue of sexuality in sport. Sorry, there is no issue other than ability and teamwork. The idea that being gay somehow undermines anything to do with professional sport is baloney, or indeed as Ciaran has rightly pointed out, ill-informed mendacious nonsense.
Sexual prejudice, or indeed any form or prejudice, is merely one of countless things that could theoretically impact sporting performance or teamwork or public opinion, albeit one of the less appealing things.
This is the 21st century, not Nazi Germany in 1940.
48 Posted 07/06/2010 at 11:40:10
One thing this topic has clearly established is that political correctness among Twebbers is alive and well. I agree with an earlier poster who said that Aids was now prevalent in the wider community. Is there any chance of an honest explanation of how that came about.
49 Posted 07/06/2010 at 12:31:38
50 Posted 07/06/2010 at 12:35:43
51 Posted 07/06/2010 at 12:34:49
Possible that someone shagged a chimp and the rest is history.
Nowt at all to do with anyone's sexuality.
I'm not gay, but have gay friends of both sexes and I couldn't care less about anyone's sexual preference, skin colour or religion.
Do the business for the Blues (or Pinks) .... that's all that matters.
52 Posted 07/06/2010 at 20:27:37
53 Posted 07/06/2010 at 21:37:42
As far as the church goes, there is nothing in the bible that says you should treat homosexuals differently. In the apostle Paul's letter to the Romans he says it is wrong. That said, Jesus associated himself with thieves, liars, adulterers, murderers, etc. And he treated those people like everyone else. The church doesn't seem to understand that.
As a Christian myself, I would support any gay person who plays for Everton. I don't support drunk-driving but I support Steven Pienaar because 1) I am in no position to judge him and 2) he plays for Everton.
We should support our club and the players and not be judgmental. Gay, straight or bi, I, for one, will support any Evertonian.
54 Posted 07/06/2010 at 22:14:44
I think the whole idea of gays being weak is nonsense as some of the most evil killers have been gay. Look at members of the Nazi party. We cannot catergorise people — look at Gareth Thomas — you wouldn't think he's gay would you?
But I also accept that many religious people disagree with it. I disagree with same sex adoption as I feel it means a child will be ridiculed for his or her life. I don't have a problem if people want to engage in it as long as they don't affect anyone else. You might call Dick a bigot but you'd find similar opinions in Everton's dressing room and boardroom.
The thing that annoys me the most though, as a famous Black basketballer pointed out: If someone walked down the street and called him a Nigger, they'd be a bigot... yet if they called him a puff, it would just be banter. I was thinking of putting a piece on this site about how football has been involved in racism and how it's fought against racism. It doesn't seem to me they've fought homosexual discrimination which makes the football for all a joke.
55 Posted 07/06/2010 at 22:36:06
Two things: 1. God made all men, and therefore your fellow man is to be respected. 2. Let he without sin cast the first stone
Chastity and homosexuality
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,140 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." 141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
56 Posted 07/06/2010 at 23:48:10
57 Posted 08/06/2010 at 00:03:29
58 Posted 08/06/2010 at 02:21:21
59 Posted 08/06/2010 at 04:07:02
Pat (53).. I haven't opened a bible for a while but the punishment for a man laying with another man seems like slightly different treatment to me. Maybe something was lost in translation.
60 Posted 08/06/2010 at 05:10:39
I don't mean to be arrogant. I know some of you don't believe in the god of the Bible or in any god at all and I don't mean to shove my beliefs in your face. It is just frustrating that Christians, over the years, have construed the Bible to be a hateful book. That's not what it is at all. the central theme of the Bible is love. We've all heard of the verse, John 3:16. The verse says, to paraphrase, God loved the world to the point of being willing to be tortured and killed so that people could go to heaven.
You don't have to believe the Bible but that is what it says so don't use it as a means of justifying hatred for homosexuals.
61 Posted 08/06/2010 at 06:23:35
As a slight side point, I once knew an ex-professional rugby league player who said that many of the top rugby league players were gay. I have no evidence other than his word to support this, but it does make interesting food for thought, and would certainly explode the myth about all gay men being weak and effiminate.
62 Posted 08/06/2010 at 07:43:47
And then there's poor Onan who spilt his seed upon the ground, instantly condemning generations of young wankers to a life of sin and debauchery. The fucking Catholic Church has an awful lot to answer for... not least the utterly criminal insistence on unfettered procreation. Of course one beauty of the Bible is man can use it to justify or condemn anything on God's green earth.
And on that note, I think we have strayed far enough on this topic, thanks to Jamie Crowley posting that pompous religious tract. Thread closed.
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