I wanted to talk about gay men and football, but couldn’t decide if I should call it “Locker Room Interviews” or “Are We Turning Straight?” The 49ers played in this weekend’s super bowl, and my trainer said the bars on Castro Street were packed with queers watching the game and shouting like it was their high school team. Can’t we do better than that? Where were the drag cheerleaders? The gear queen strung up on a cross? A nun in habit and shoulder pads?
We’ve almost reached the promised land when a pro footballer gets called a bully when he naïvely says there are no queer pro football players (check Dave Kopay 1975) When two pro players talk about us positively in public, total equality cannot be far behind.
But does that mean we revert to straight football fans? I think there are qualities that make us unique, and I don’t want us to lose them. Let me get back to the title. For years I’ve contended that if there were locker room interviews with the players after games when men are showering,gay men would watch sports. Towels are blank hunks of fabric; we want hunks without fabric standing in the showers or leaning on a bench exposing their ass. Butts, pubic hair, the shadow of a rod in his underwear get our attention. Why not show them getting hard during the coach’s pep talk? (They did when I was towel boy in high school).
I’m not sure exactly what I want. Maybe gay players who camp on the bench when they’re not on the field as the most amazing quarterback and linebacker in the league. I was going to say gay cheerleaders, but we’ve already got that covered. Gay men play all sports as well as anyone, but as we reach equality, I hope we won’t turn straight and slug beer and talk about golf instead of eating prosciutto wrapped figs and talk about Broadway shows. Our challenge: come up with ways we can queer-ifie football as equal partners and make games more fun for players and spectators. A half time show with shirtless sweaty men instead of Beyonce is a start.