In my relatively short time on this fair planet, I've learned that queer people are not only dangerous but incredibly powerful.
Hardly a week goes by without a politician, religious figure or breathless talking head having a public meltdown about the "gay agenda" and our plot to take over the world and douse it in glitter and lube.
Still, rather than use our dark, perverted magic to do something useful, like, say, secure equal employment protections or prevent hate crimes, we wily queers have instead spent our time scheming to find ways to destroy the holy sacrament of marriage (wait, aren't straight people doing a competent job on their own?) and cause meteorological mischief like Hurricane Katrina and superstorm Sandy.
Now, as if we weren't busy enough dooming entire nations and civilizations, a new, even more terrifying threat to mankind is apparently brewing, and in recent weeks a hot-pink alert has been sounded: Gay men want to play sports, and, even worse, we expect to use the same locker rooms as straight men.
That's right: Not only do we want to be able to get married, adopt children and be free from discrimination; we now have the audacity to believe that we should be able to play on professional sports teams without cowering in the closet! And after we've practiced or played a game, we want to be able to take a hot shower!
While the horror sets in and you ease yourself down onto a fainting couch, consider what former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Mark Knudson recently wrote:
[Some in the gay community claim] that there wouldn't be any sort of physical attraction for a gay athlete toward any of his straight teammates -- which would cause those very uncomfortable situations. He's gay; he's not dead. He can't just flip a switch and turn off his feelings when he walks into the locker room.
Of course he's going to have feelings of attraction toward a teammate or two. It's human nature. These are some of the most physically fit and desirable human beings on the planet. The gay athlete isn't going to notice that? ... Attractive people know when they're being "checked out" and it leads to those very awkward moments.
Right-wing radio host Bryan Fischer agrees, claiming on a recent broadcast, "The NFL's not gonna put up with that kind of nonsense. They know you get sexual tension in a locker room.... You can't avoid divisive things coming into the locker room."
Because I have a thing for silly, clueless straight men (whether in or out of the locker room), I'm going to take a few minutes out of my otherwise hectic day to break a few things down for them:
- Please do not flatter yourself by thinking that gay men must be interested in having sex with you. Contrary to popular belief, we do not need to be physically restrained like Hannibal Lecter in a straightjacket and modified hockey mask anytime we come within 30 feet of a penis. Gay men may have the most unflappable discipline and self-control in recorded history, having been denied so many things for so long, and while we might enjoy the view, trust me, you're safe. And sure, gay athletes would be sharing a locker room with "some of the most physically fit and desirable human beings on the planet," but here's a newsflash: We're surrounded by those kinds of guys almost every time we walk into a gay bar. Who works out more and is more fastidiously groomed than gay men? We kind of have the market on hotness cornered.
- Whether you realize it or not, we're already at the gym working on our fitness next to you (well, maybe not you, Bryan Fischer) and then showering and going on our merry way. When's the last time you read about a gay man sexually assaulting a straight man at New York Sports Club? Never. If anything, it's the "straight" married guys trolling the steam rooms hoping to get lucky whom you should be worried about. Those poor wives!
- While the fantasy of "turning" a straight guy to the dark side definitely exists for many gay men, the reality is that most straight guys wouldn't know what to do with us, and with all the troublemaking we've already committed ourselves to on a daily basis (see above), we just don't have time to train you on how to give a proper blow job. (But here's a free tip anyway: Watch the teeth!).
Knudson also claims that although other pro and former pro athletes have come to the defense of (hypothetical) gay players, we should be considering the feelings of straight players too:
It's also important to consider that the heterosexual players involved have feelings, too, and they're no more or less valid than the feelings of those in the gay community. It's amazing how many people feel free to criticize and tell athletes how they are supposed to feel, as if that's anyone else's right.
Oh, boohoo, Mark! You really want us to feel sorry for straight athletes who have never known the abject terror and despair of hiding their sexuality for fear of potentially losing their careers, their friends, their families -- the most important parts of their lives and who they are? I do not have a drop of sympathy for these straight guys, especially as many of them have helped create and secure the kind of locker room environment that has kept gay players from coming out of the closet in the first place.
Gay men are now proudly serving in the military, in even closer quarters and under way more pressure than professional athletes, without any problems. When (not if, because it's only a matter of time) a professional athlete finally comes out, the world will not come to a screeching halt. No one is going start spontaneously vomiting hot blood or go hysterically blind.
And you have to remember that we're already everywhere. We're doing crunches beside you at the gym. We're contemplating which ice cream flavor to purchase in the frozen food aisle. We're teaching your children, unclogging your sink, praying in the pew behind you and, yes, playing on your favorite sports team. And once we've come out, we're certainly not going back in so that you can feel "safer" or be spared objectification. (Having straight men experience what straight women are subjected to countless times a day wouldn't be the worst thing, right, ladies?)
We're on the brink of ushering in a radically brand new world, and you can either join us or get out of the way. We're here, we're queer, we're in your locker room and we're going to keep on scoring whether you like it or not.
To visit HuffPost Gay Voices, a content partner with SDGLN, click HERE.