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Updated 2001.11.02

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Sodomite invasion!

Avowed homosexualist infiltrates NFL dressing room – but global apocalypse averted

First published 1995

Remember all that bullshit about female reporters in locker rooms – how they were spuriously accused of leering and violating the privacy of naked jock guys? Female reporters almost unanimously retorted that they have a job to do and aren’t interested in jock dick. I’ve argued in previous Voice stories that this defense is unrealistic and disingenuous: We’re talking about human beings here, and a female reporter might very well occasionally find an athlete attractive and look at him for a brief moment, or vice-versa; the athlete in question would likely then get dressed and the reporter would file her story. Life would, in effect, go on.

But the entire women-in-dressing-rooms issue as discussed in mainstream media lets male reporters and photographers – and teammates and officials – off the hook: Who says some of them aren’t gay or bi and are doing a bit of looking themselves? Expanding on that theory, if the presence of women is threatening to some guys then presumably an actual openly-gay male reporter or photographer would induce a masculinity meltdown. Having a fag in the dressing room might well be pro sports’ worst nightmare.

Or maybe not. It’s no longer hypothetical: I infiltrated the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills dressing rooms (with Village Voice press accreditation) after [a 1995] exhibition game in Toronto. (It was Bills over Cowboys 9–7 in a yawn of a match, if you care about those things.) Nearly every athlete was a mighty fine physical specimen, and I can attest that most NFL players are in fact equipped with a penis, which they were rarely shy about displaying. (I didn’t need to undress them with my eyes; they were already undressed.)

NFL players don’t necessarily have much in the way of gaydar, and I wasn’t exactly brandishing a placard (“Hi! I’m the biggest fag in town. I’ll be brazenly ogling your genitalia today. Please be yourself”), so most of them didn’t twig to my “secret.” (One well-known player – who might or might not be at least somewhat musical – did suss me out and gave me a heavily loaded glance that said “Don’t embarrass me” or “Please don’t make a scene.”) Maybe this is a case of not being hurt by what they don’t know, but the fact is that no one really noticed me, or cared. The gravest conceivable threat to NFL manhood – a fag mingling with naked superbutch football guys – had no deleterious effect at all. The NFL has had a homo in their midst and survived.

Yes, this would have been a more meaningful experiment had I been seen in NFL locker rooms once a week for ten years. But still, one hopes this will help put to rest the myths that (homo)sexuality and sports can never peacefully coexist, even amid jock nudity, and that athletes are so freaked out by the possibility of being looked at, admired, or cruised that they need protection and chaperoning. In other words: Get over it, boys!

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