Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Tales of Closet Abuse, part 2

What is the reason for Russell ‘Hollywood’ Simpson to put Kerry Rhodes on blast? 

As a gay man, he should understand the reasons why, Black men specifically, are relegated to the closet – right, wrong or indifferent.  Hollywood claims he is making Rhodes relevant by putting his name out there.  Rhodes is a football player who is a free agent!  A gay scandal is not going to get him a contract!  Stop playing boo!  There is a different motive here.  Kerry Rhodes sexuality IS his own business.  Why is it necessary for Rhodes to publicly acknowledge that he is gay?  How would that validate Russell Simpson if they were no longer together?  B.S.!  Obviously, Rhodes felt comfortable with PDA in certain situations around certain people.  That’s should have been enough.  Friends do hold other friend’s confidences.  Hollywood claims that Rhodes’ teammates were aware of his sexuality.  If so, isn’t that enough?  If these two were in ‘love’ or whatever, why couldn’t that be sufficient, given the climate in professional sports?  Rhodes denying his sexuality, is NOT outing himself.  That’s B.S.!  Rhodes was employed in a heterosexist and homophobic industry.  When we have ignorant comments made by public officials and other NFL players (and the awesome responses to them), it is understandable why Rhodes would keep his sexuality on a need-to-know basis.  Kerry, I support you.  I cannot say that you are gay, because I do not know you.  From the pictures floating around the Internet, I come to a different conclusion.  If, and when you do come out, there are plenty of people out there who will have your back. If you haven’t already, reach out to Brendon Ayanbadejo.

Attempting to ‘Out’ someone is such a public way, is another form of Closet Abuse.  We are locking people in these closets and then ripping the doors off.  Everyone who is around Rhodes or any other professional male athlete has heard, seen and understands the potential impact that a public admission of homosexuality can have on their career.  This pressure to keep their life compartmentalized, forces them to live in a ‘closet’, until the pressure is too great, leading to some disastrous outcome.  It is unfortunate that in these situations, someone else thinks it is their right or responsibility to disclose another’s personal information.  Wrong!  Hollywood knew who Rhodes was when he got into their ‘situation’. 

We know that Rhodes (if he is gay) is not the only gay professional male athlete.  Between statistics and the retired players who have come out, there has to be other active players who are also gay.  And again, there is nothing wrong with that!  One of these players is going to come out.  There will be media hype around it for a while and then it will be as normal as female reporters in the locker room and showers after the games!

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