TAG | NOH8
While the NFL is in the midst of the current locket, New England Patriots safety Bret Lockett is keeping busy. Today, he added his name and likeness (click for full size image) to the list of athletes to pose for and support the NOH8 Campaign.
Beyond merely posing, he’s fully embracing the role of ally.
First, he has changed his Twitter (@BretLockett26) user icon to his NOH8 photo. You should probably follow him on Twitter for that reason alone.
Second, he spoke with Outsports about his feelings regarding bullying, gay rights, and what it would be like for a football player to come out.
Since Outsports mixed in some direct quotes and paraphrased quotes, I can’t think of a better way to pass along the message than a simple copy and paste:
(Outsports in italics; Lockett’s direct quotes in bold.)
Lockett, also a part-time model who’s launching a music career, told Outsports he wanted to be part of the NOH8 campaign because he was bullied in high school.
It’s a sad thing. And it’s not just being gay. There are kids who kill themselves for being a nerd or being fat. There’s not enough support in life today. We need to start lifting people up instead of trying to bring them down.
He feels the solution to bullying is helping kids understand the beauty of differences and the power their words have. Because he was bullied he is now, at 24, able to put himself in the shoes of others and understand their pain better; That’s the key to stop the bullying, he said.
Beyond the general cause of bullying, Lockett is squarely on the side of equality for gay people.
They definitely think they should have the right to marry. They’re not affecting anybody else. I know it bothers some people to see two people of the same sex together, but you shouldn’t deny them the chance to become one and get married. There are a lot of people who will never find a mate, gay or straight. I don’t knock it.
Locket said through his modeling and music he’s gotten to know a lot of gay people. It was tough at first, particularly with some guys hitting on him. But as he got to know more gay people and understand them, he said his comfort with them came quickly.
His personal thoughts on a gay teammate reflect what we’ve heard before: If you can play, you can stay.
If he makes our team better, I couldn’t care less what he does off the field. If he’s a good player, I dno’t knock anybody’s talent. That’s like saying we’re not going to hire him because he’s gay. It’s all about winning in the corporate world or the sports world.
His perception of how that gay player would be received also reflect the “If you can play you can stay” mentality. On the one hand, he said it would be extremely difficult for someone to come out in the Patriots locker room.
Football is a very masculine sports. It’s look at as a gladiator sport. If someone said they were gay, a lot of guys wouldn’t be comfortable playing with him. You have to shower with them, you have to get dressed next to them, and a lot of guys wouldn’t be comfortable with that.
However, when asked what would happen if Tom Brady were gay and came out to the team, Lockett said that changed the conversation.
It’s tough to answer that question because he’s such a great player. He’s such a great player, it would bother people but they would accept it. If it was somebody in the background or who wasn’t a star on the team I think it would be looked at a lot differenlty. But with a star like that, it’s different.
He said he used to hear “faggot” tossed around the football field in high school, but he simply doesn’t hear the word anymore. He’s much more likely to hear players call each other “bitch” than “faggot.”
In response to the string of nationally reported suicides of GLBT youth, Mike Chababla, defenseman on the Houston Dynamo, recently added his name and celebrity to the NOH8 photo campaign, as Fox26 reports.
In the interview, posted below, Chababla had this to say:
“It was actually quite an honor when I got offered to do this. But most importantly, it’s not a republican issue or a democratic issue; I mean, simply enough, it’s just a human right issue. And I think it’s something that this country is based off, and equality is everything. So just being involved in that sense – obviously being here in Houston and obviously Texas a very conservative state, if you will – just to be involved with these guys and to spread the cause on such a great campaign and issue, it’s pretty important for me. So, I’m happy to be here.”
I love the reporters enthusiasm on the topic as well. And I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for the photos posting on the NOH8 website.
I woke up this morning, and while I stayed in bed for a few minutes, I thought about the hypocrisy of so many Christians. Quite a random topic to wake up to, I realize. I merely was reflecting on something my ex used to tell me: the ultimate intention of any Christian should be to bring people to Christ. Above all else, it is the most important. Cite all the Bible verses you want and promote whatever government legislation you want, because in the end (assuming, for a moment, that we’re in the Christian “end”), you are damning yourself.
After that thought, I went to my computer and began to read some of the many articles, news stories, and Tweets I saved previously to read later. Now is later, and I did not make it passed the very first link before having to make this post.
This letter was written by a mother in 2000 to her community, especially directed at the Christians. It is eloquent and profound, and ten years later, its words still ring true. I encourage you to read it in its entirety, but I will excerpt my favorite parts here:
- “Many letters have been sent to the Valley News concerning the homosexual menace in Vermont. I am the mother of a gay son and I’ve taken enough from you good people.”
- “I’m tired of your foolish rhetoric about the “homosexual agenda” and your allegations that accepting homosexuality is the same thing as advocating sex with children. You are cruel and ignorant. You have been robbing me of the joys of motherhood ever since my children were tiny.”
- “You have the audacity to talk about protecting families and children from the homosexual menace, while you yourselves tear apart families and drive children to despair. I don’t know why my son is gay, but I do know that God didn’t put him, and millions like him, on this Earth to give you someone to abuse. God gave you brains so that you could think, and it’s about time you started doing that.”
- “You use religion to abdicate your responsibility to be thinking human beings. There are vast numbers of religious people who find your attitudes repugnant. God is not for the privileged majority, and God knows my son has committed no sin.”
When I first saw this Jesus NOH8 photo by Adam Bouska, I initially felt that it was slightly sacrilegious. But then I thought: Jesus WOULD be a part of the NOH8 campaign, because Jesus does not hate. Yet you, the Christians supposedly following him, do.
My roommate likes to point out that the gay community should be focused on more important issues than marriage: hate crime and bullying legislation, housing and workplace discrimination, the deplorable ideas being professed in Uganda, etc. When teenagers get bullied over sexuality to a point that drives them to suicide, marriage just doesn’t seem as important. But whether we like it or not, the fight in 2010 between the gay community and its opponents will be driven by the debate over marriage.
There have been numerous developments since my last posts on marriage at the beginning of December, and there are several major, future events that need to be mentioned. With organization and knowing my habit for being long-winded in mind, I will split what I have to say into two parts. The first will be a general update about the marriage debate: who does marriage really mean more to? The second will focus on the ripples from Prop 8, specifically the soon to be argued California court case.
Throughout both posts, I’m going to include some amazing NOH8 photographs that my friend, Chris Weiss, recently shot. The entire compilation of photos can be found at his website.
Let’s begin by comparing events from the last week of 2009 to highlight what marriage means to each side.
In one corner, we have Karl Rove, an ardent vigilante for the sanctity of marriage, filing for divorce on December 29 from his wife of 24 years; this will be his second divorce, by the way. If you have forgotten, he worked under President Bush and was a major spur in a pathetic 2004 campaign to add a gay marriage ban to the Constitution.
Part of a Bush speech on the matter: “For ages, in every culture, human beings have understood that traditional marriage is critical to the well-being of families. And because families pass along values and shape character, traditional marriage is also critical to the health of society. Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them. And changing the definition of traditional marriage will undermine the family structure.” It’s remarkable that these words can be uttered while it is irrefutable that marriage IS an evolving social idea and that divorce tears up families as much, or more, than anything.
In the other corner, we have the remarkable story of Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre, who became Latin America’s first legally married same-sex couple (this happened within a week of Rove’s divorce, just so we stay on track with the comparison). The political spectrum on the issue in Argentina is quite similar to the U.S.: there is no policy throughout the entire country on the issue; it is left to individual provinces to decide at this time while the national government is silent. And after the couple finally married, you have a local bigot bishop state that the marriage is “an attack against the survival of the human species.” *yawn*
Anyway, the couple was first scheduled to marry in Buenos Aires, and through a legal victory earlier in the year, looked to have the proper clearance to do so. But on the eve of their wedding, another court filed an injunction and the wedding was blocked. I can only imagine how disheartening that must have been
Yet, they carried on and found Tierra del Fuego, a state that would allow them to marry. And there, in Ushuaia, capital of the state and the southernmost tip of the continent, they wed. It is quite a remarkable story of love: you can read more about it here and here.
So what does 2010 have in store? There really is no time to even take a breath.
Tomorrow, the New Jersey state Senate will vote to legalize gay marriage. If it passes, it will need also approval from the Assembly prior to reaching the governor’s desk. Governor Corzine supports the measure, but Chris Christie, who replaces him in two weeks, does not. I’m not politically savvy enough to make a legitimate prediction on if that time frame is possible, but from an amateur’s perspective, it sure looks grim. And that sucks; it really, truly sucks that we have to go through this.
Next up: although Washington D.C. recently authorized gay marriages, the American Center for Law & Justice has filed a brief on behalf of 39 members of Congress and citizens of D.C. seeking to put the issue to public vote. As if a majority vote is a good way to determine a minority’s rights.
Lastly, Iowa. It’s been a relatively calm 6 months of gay marriages in Iowa, but this article posted in the Des Moines Register notes that, “Opponents of Iowa’s gay marriage law are promising to push hard during the 2010 legislative session for a vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex unions.”
So strap on your boots, ladies and gents, we’re in for a wild ride in 2010. Will leave you with one last NOH8 photo by Chris Weiss. Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of this 2010 marriage post and for more NOH8 photos.