- Gender and Relationships
How To Talk Sports For Gays Who Don’t Know
I admit it, I am one of those gays. I’m from the old school of gays who never threw a football, never made it around the track (except walking with the fat kids in the back) and I even cut a deal with my seventh grade PE coach that if I found something else to do during his class for the year and not get in trouble that he would give me an A – deal made, deal kept. So I know nothing about any of the teams, what they’re doing, how they’re doing in the playoffs or anything else. That said there are days when I don’t feel like doing the hair thing so I stick a baseball cap on. Now my head wasn’t made for baseball hats, in fact the only hat that ever looked good on me was Mousketeer ears and since I never became a Mousketeer I realized that hats weren’t really for me. However, I had to have at least one baseball cap for those days when the hair wasn’t presentable and I wanted to go to Starbucks because let’s face it, wearing Mousketeer ears out at my age just makes people clutch their children a little closer and pointing and laughing ensues. Enter the New York Yankees cap from Target. I didn’t really think about the Yankees when I bought the cap I only thought that it looked decent enough on me and that it reminded me of New York (which more often than not I miss living two hours away from now that I live on the west coast). So it’s always a surprise to me when someone asks me a Yankee related question. Then I remember the hat I’m wearing and I suddenly begin the tap dance that is never seen on any stage. How to talk sports for gays who don’t know – Don’t Get Me Started!
Now I know there are many gays out there who follow sports and they are completely disgusted that I would write about this, thinking that I’m doing everything I can to keep the much maligned gay stereotype alive but I’m not, I’m simply writing from my own experience, a gay who on occasion has been known to resemble the much maligned gay stereotype.
Usually when another guy looks at me and says, “Whaddya think their chances are?” I tend to think about one of the many reality television shows I watch with great shame. Do they mean a designer on Project Runway or America’s Best Dance Crew but then it dawns on me that they have noticed my hat and what they really want to talk about are the Yankees. What you discover is that most people are opening up this conversation to perhaps connect with another human being but more often than not, they’re doing it to give you their opinion. So the safest and most sure-fired response is, “I don’t know (shaking your head and looking down a bit and then back up at them) whadda YOU think their chances are?” If all goes perfectly this conversation times out to be exactly the amount of time you need to replace an awkward moment and for the person in front of them to be done with their transaction at Starbucks. The sports enthusiast then places their order, gives you a knowing head nod as they go to wait to get their coffee, you order and then act as if an email just came through of great importance so you engross yourself in your phone and by then they’ve left and your mission has been accomplished.
The above will work in most cases but sometimes there’s more of a delay or someone really wants to talk about it so you must be prepared with your keen gay powers of observation and do what we gays do best, become the gay chameleon. This happened the other day at the deli. I went up to the counter and ordered my pound of pastrami and there were about six guys who are always behind the counter and seem as though they must drive home to New Jersey every day instead of living in Las Vegas. However on this day it was a young kid who while he seemed more the New York type as he went to get the process started he looked at me and his eyes lit up. He then pointed to his cap (which was a Yankees cap) and then pointed to mine. Here’s the conversation:
Deli Boy: You from New York?
Me: No, Philadelphia.
Deli Boy: Hmm, Phillies what do you think of the Yankees so far?
Me: I don’t know, what do you think?
Deli Boy: Good start, they could do it again.
Me: Please, don’t jinx it.
Deli Man: Hey, yous guys talking Yankees? I’m the only one here who don’t go for the Yankees but I was born in Boston.
Me: Oh, then you have an excuse right?
Deli Man: Hell yeah. Sox fan all the way.
Me: Isn’t that something they do at the hospital when you’re born there, make you a Sox fan?
Deli Man 2: Yeah, they stamp it on the babies’ butts when they’re born there!
This could be a sports conversation but it could just as easily be a musical theatre conversation between a straight guy who knows nothing about it and a gay who has so many opinions about it the rough draft of his book about it is sitting on his computer unfinished. Just remember that people want to give their opinions in most cases, not listen to yours so it takes very little to get them to tell you what you think about the topic they’re talking about and in the end everyone goes away feeling as though they connected with someone else and no one got hurt. And the best part about it was that the deli guys didn’t see me as a gay man (well, maybe not JUST a gay man) and in our own way we showed what tolerance for one another is all about as we did our acting exercise, me to be accepted and them to get a tip. How to talk sports for gays who don’t know – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com