Apparently, it has long been an open secret in the pro Soccer world. Now, the rumors are confirmed. The provocatively named David Testo has come out as gay, becoming the first out American player. More on Outsports. Like gay sports? Check out more posts here.
Tag Archives: Coming Out
Rick Welts, President and CEO of the Phoenix Suns, is coming out. The 58-year old Welts began his career 40 years ago with the Seattle Supersonics as – no kidding – a ball boy. According to Dan Barry’s column in Sunday’s New York Times: “Mr. Welts explained that he wants to pierce the silence that envelops the subject of homosexuality in men’s team sports.” Four decades in the closet came at a cost. When his partner passed of AIDS in 1994, he took two days off. “His secretary explained to others that a good friend of his had died. Although she and Arnie had talked many times over the years, she and her boss had never discussed who, exactly, Arnie was.” Later, he lost another long-term lover, when the man finally left him, unwilling to continue to live in the closet. That was two years ago. And now, Welts is out. Read “A Sports Executive Leaves the Safety of His Shadow Life” here.
After nine years in a corporate closet, Paul Marcarelli is coming out as gay. The horn-rimmed spokesman for Verizon talked to Spencer Morgan of The Atlantic about the contract that has sealed his lips for the past decade. It had what amounted to a no self-outing clause. Anonymous mascots are not supposed to have lives that could publicly detract from the characters they play. And being gay is still good dish, way too juicy for the bean-counters to risk. Homophobia blurs with the bottom line. Marcarelli’s catch phrase “Can You Hear Me Now?” will certainly go down in the history of TV advertising slogans – along with other pervertable classics such as: “Where’s the Beef?” “Don’t Squeeze the Charmin'” and “You’re soaking in It.” Marcarelli is currently in post-production on The Green, a film he wrote and co-produced and which focuses on a small-town gay couple who become embroiled in a scandal. Look forward to it on the festival circuit. The Atlantic article is available here.
In the wake of the recent spate of publicity around suicide among queer youth, Georgia evangelical megachurch pastor Jim Swilley has come out publicly. In a sermon to his congregation, he equated two major themes in his life: his call to God and his sexuality. Swilley and his wife of 20 + years recently divorced amicably, and Swilley credits her with urging him to live openly as the gay man they have both always known him to be. The couple have four children and together grew the Rockdale County Church into the huge Church in the Now. Pastor Swilley has stepped down from the College of Bishops of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches – at their request.
Pastor Swilley is to be commended for his decision and action to come out. His life will never be the same. He is no longer a bishop. He may lose his church. Certain good “christian” bloggers are savaging him on-line, throwing up dreck about his being a “tool of Satan.” But most religious people are not like that. The fringe has been representing the center too long. The military is already teeming with gays. So are many churches. Most soldiers don’t care. Most folks sitting in church Sunday morning don’t care. Most already know gay people: a friend, a cousin, a co-worker. Attitudes are changing, and actions such as the pastor’s are key in this shift. We really are everywhere. Even in the mainstream.
Enormous physical and emotional harm is done to queer youth at the hands of cowardly bullies and disinterested school administrators. Enormous harm is also done daily to many of these same kids in the pews of their churches. The effects of spiritual violence can be as devastating as any other trauma. For queer people of faith, seeing young people alienated from the Divine because of the actions of bullies in pulpits is tragic. Out people of faith, including clergy, are powerful antidotes to religious hatred. God loves all His children. As friend of this site Tim’m T. West has been known to say: “If it ain’t Love, it ain’t God.”