Frank Bruni, writing an op-ed for the New York Times today, calls out the truth about gays in the locker room:
A news flash for every straight man out there: You’ve been naked in front of a gay man.
In fact you’ve been naked, over the course of your life, in front of many gay men, at least if you have more than a few years on you. And here you are — uninjured, uncorrupted, intact. The earth still spins. The sun rises and sets.
Maybe it was in gym class, long ago. Maybe at the health club more recently. Or maybe when you played sports at the high school level, the college level, later on. Whether we gay guys are one in 10 or one in 25, it’s a matter of chance: At some point, one of us was within eyeshot when you stripped down.
And you know what? He probably wasn’t checking you out. He certainly wasn’t beaming special gay-conversion gamma rays at you. That’s why you weren’t aware of his presence and didn’t immediately go out and buy a more expensive moisturizer and a disc of Judy Garland’s greatest hits. His purpose mirrored yours. He was changing clothes and showering. It’s a locker room, for heaven’s sake. Not last call at the Rawhide.
Addressing the coming out of University of Missouri All-American football player Michael Sam, Bruni goes on to dissect possible anxiety over having the “distraction” of an openly gay player in the NFL.
Responding to one anonymous NFL assistant coach who claimed “There’s nothing more sensitive than the heartbeat of the locker room,” Bruni wonders aloud – “When did the locker room become such a delicate ecosystem? Is it inhabited by athletes or orchids?”
Go read the full essay by Bruni at NYTimes.com