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It used to be there was a good chance a guy was gay if he didn’t at least like sports. After all, nothing says heterosexual like whoopin’ ‘n’ hollerin’ while watching a bunch of sweaty men with athletic physiques tackle each other, grab at each other, wear form fitting uniforms, and slap each other on their bubble butts. But times have changed and more gay men have become sports fans who actually enjoy playing or watching football, basketball, rugby, or what have you. It’s become the norm for gay guys to mention something about their love for their favorite team on their Scruff, Grindr, or OKCupid profiles, and it’s also become normal for them to mention they want to date a guy who enjoys sportsball just as much as they do.

Which is why I feel even more like an outsider in the gay community.

Turn Me Down for What?

When I was young I played pee wee football … for all of about a week. I only did it because my older brother kept pestering me to, but for some reason I couldn’t grasp the concept of what I was supposed to do after tackling the guy in front of me. I remember always looking up afterwards like, “I’ve done the thing, now what other thing am I supposed to be thinging?” Plus, I was always more worried about missing Batman than I was missing the next play.

After that, I joined band (played the tenor sax), and it was there that I felt as if I’d come home. While band nerds are usually objects of derision, you have to bear in mind that marching band is rooted in military practices. All of that snapping, precise body movement, marching, and discipline may not be considered a sport, but it requires the same dedication and commitment as a sport.

It’s Not That I Don’t Like You

I’ll honestly say I enjoy watching the Olympics (especially gymnastics) and MMA fighting, but even then I have a “take it or leave it” mentality about the two. I don’t outright hate sports or feel they’re barbaric. I think the display of athleticism is fascinating and impressive, but I most certainly wouldn’t plan my day around a game, and that’s especially true if I’m not there to see it live. I think part of it is that I don’t find the plodding pace of most sports captivating enough to keep me mentally arrested. That, and half of the time I’m not sure what the frak is going on. This is part of the reason why it was hard for me to concentrate on the church sermon when I was younger; I always found myself wanting to read a good book rather than The Good Book.

There’s Nothing Wrong With Either of Us

If you too are a gay, straight, questioning, trans, or bi man who isn’t a fervent sports fan, know that it’s perfectly fine. Know that it doesn’t make you less masculine (which is subjective), less dateable, or slightly deranged. Yes, you’ll probably have a few people outright dismiss you when you tell them you didn’t watch the Broncos last night or any other night (that actually happened to me), but that shouldn’t make you question your self-worth.

So the next time someone asks if you caught the game last night, don’t hesitate in letting them catch the truth as it falls from your lips. After all, it’s not your fault if they fumble to understand you. Don’t let those hoes throw a flag on your verbal play.