If you think there’s never been a gay man in an NFL locker room, you’re wrong. If you think there’s never been a straight man in an NFL locker room that snuck a peek at another man’s junk, you’re also wrong. I say this because a common defense against homosexuals in the locker room is "I don't want them looking at me." Well, other men are already looking, and even if they're gay, chances are they don't want to have sex with you. So, what’s the difference?
Well, men are idiots. Specifically, homophobic men. Men of this ilk think that by railing against gays that their own sexuality will never be in question; they perhaps fear that an accusation of being gay will magically turn them homosexual and condemn them to a life of dance club bathroom sex and leather bars. It's insecurity based on an under-educated and over-religious society that's placed stereotyped imagery on a misunderstood lifestyle.
The truth is, when it comes to locker room situations, we've all peeked. Why? Maybe because men are perverts. Maybe we want to know how we stack up against other men in the junk department. I don't know. But, it’s rarely about being homosexual. Still, some men feel a sensation of curiosity and forget that they enjoy sex with women. It's from this curiosity where fear and insecurity may stem – because it's a curiosity that can be exploited by those quick to judge. For a man insecure in himself, in any way, this fear of judgment may lead to thoughtless judgments themselves. The overly macho result is both deflection and projection.
And it leads to misconceptions about what it is to be a “real man.” For some, it’s about being bigger and stronger, and only being able to appreciate women – never men – on any aesthetic level. For some men, being able to see that another man is even remotely attractive is “gay.” These men are morons. I could give a more thoughtful assessment than that, but why bother? If you really think admitting that another man is an attractive human being, or that being curious about another man’s penis size, makes you a homosexual, then you’re not self-aware enough for any assessment to matter. I talk about dicks and assholes more than any straight man I know (well, almost any), but at the end of the day, I like having sex with women. Why do I talk about dicks and assholes? I have no idea. I’m a pervert, I guess. Maybe the linguistics of homoerotic jousting is a balancing act between curiosity and heterosexual urges. Who knows?
But, I do know it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s certainly nothing to be afraid of. Our culture says that being gay makes you less macho, or less than a man. I say a real man knows himself, and knows what he wants. A real man doesn’t feel guilty for loving who he loves. And a real man doesn’t judge his friends or his teammates.
I don’t want to get into the religious aspects of this nonsense, or the juvenile points-of-view that say showering with a gay athlete makes a heterosexual athlete “uncomfortable” – because I can guarantee that the man pretending to be straight for fear of judgment from his teammates is far more uncomfortable – so I will only address it as such: get over it. Grow up and stop judging people for who they love just because they happen to be of the same sex.
Gay men and women have existed since we crawled out of the slime. It's nothing new. It's not a new concept. You are not special for living and breathing alongside homosexuals. No one cares about your plight or privilege. No one cares about your fucking discomfort. Respect your teammates. Respect this other person that has endured hardships to get where they are, to come to the top of their game, and to live the same dream you dreamt of your whole life. Instead of judging this person, embrace their professional goals and accept who they are in their private lives – outside the game – and be their teammate. In other words: instead of being a close-minded scared little bigot, stand up for your colleague and be a fucking man.