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550                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            come a new viable gay lifestyle, visible and suitable: the athletic, genuinely
            masculine gay male.
               Movies and TV have opened to gay men the possibility of participat-
            ing in sports they long thought closed to them, because they were, from
            grade school on, a little “shy” as Lily Tomlin would say, or “marching
            to a different Drummer” as Thoreau would say. Somewhere, with the
            debunking of all the Great American Myths, sports has finally lost its
            straight cherry, its false modesty, its phony purity, its stupid prudishness.
            No one anywhere any more believes an athlete tackles better, runs faster,
            serves more accurately because he is straight. Since Dave Kopay came out
            and Johnny Carson asked Joe Namath directly about the number of gay
            quarterbacks, American attitudes have necessarily changed.
               The famous Washington Star article on rumors of gays in professional
            sports [December 10, 1975; the article by reporter Lynn Rosellini was
            an extrapolation that did not name names until Dave Kopay contacted
            the paper for a follow-up article], Kopay’s own dignified disclosure of his
            sexuality, and Anita’s Big Squeeze Play were the three best things to hap-
            pen to the gay movement. Before this trinity converged, if a gay man came
            out, he came out. Point and period. What was he to discuss with good old
            mom and dad? Details of our midnight gymnastics? They needn’t hear all
            that about their best little boy in the whole world. Now, a man can discuss
            something after disclosure. Kopay and the Post gave us a topic: athletics.
            Bryant gave us politics, since she politicized us to the point where a man
            can say, “I’m gay and the implications of this constitutionally include you
            who are straight.” These people, for better or worse, have given us the
            material we need: being gay is more than sexual calisthenics energized by

            At the university in the Midwest where I taught for years, I had various
            close encounters with a baseball star, an assistant freshman football coach,
            one gymnast, and innumerable ordinary jocks mutually cruised in the
            shower where students recruited the more tactful faculty. Wrestling late
            Saturday afternoons on the mats in the second-floor gym of the field
            house led more often than not back to my house.
               At UC Berkeley, right now, not only is the library lav [toilet] a study
            in tangled Adidas, the maze of showers in the gym is highly active.
              Sunbathing is nude around the outdoor pool, and in the johns outside
            the Olympic gymnastics room and the weight room, the sex is subtle,
            free, and easy. At UC Berkeley, every man is issued regulation blue shorts
            and a jock. I’ve cruised there for years. In fact, my first workout, I hit the

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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