“Say what you want to say, and let the words fall out…”
I want to say – no, to ask the most famous closeted gay and lesbian athletes in Olympic sports to come out. I want to plead with the most powerful players of this era to use the whole of who they are, not just their professional postions, to help eradicate the homophobia so blatantly flaunted in Russia and other nations.
It does not take courage to score a goal or stop a puck. There’s nothing heroic about playing a game.
True heroes stand up to bullies, like the president of the Nigerian Women’s Soccer Association, who has banned lesbians from the National Team. The challenge of playing a World Cup on artificial turf seems trivial compared to the threat of “corrective” rape, don’t you think?
“Don’t run, stop holding your tongue…”
Bravery is running toward danger. Courage is speaking your truth.
“Let your words be anything but empty. Why don’t you tell them the truth?”
Come out. Say the words. “Open secrets” are still secrets, ones that perpetuate the fear and shame associated with being gay. When our very best and brightest and most successful stand strong in who they are and refuse to hide because of social or religious pressures, their courage can help others from being crushed by shame.
You are needed. Your very presence is the message. We will be so much stronger with you than we are without you.
Don’t be afraid. We – your fans, your teammates, your country – will stand with you. We will not let you fall.
“Show me how big your brave is.”
Show me. Show the world. Please. Please.
“I wonder what would happen if…”
Lyrics from the Sara Bareilles song “Brave.”