Are You Ready for Some Gay Football? | Dan Savage: American Savage | TakePart TV

Uploaded by takepart on 10.10.2012

Some people think gay people don't play football. I'm one of those people.
Apparently, I was wrong.
We're at a practice for the New York Gay Football League.
I didn't know there was a gay football league.
Apparently, there are football teams in other cities.
For a long time in gay culture, part of what we did
was we created this kind of gay parallel universe.
We had our own bars. We had our own newspapers.
We had our own bowling leagues, our own football league.
Some of them exist because they provide us with a social outlet.
The gay guys who are into football can meet other gay guys who are into football.
They can get married and have beautiful, gay, football interested children.
In some ways, it's oppression that creates the need for the parallel institution.
So, I'm going to actually ask these guys what's this about.
Can they not join a regular amateur football league
because they're gay?
Or is this about meeting, mating, and dating?
Did you play football in high school? Not at all.
Did you play football in high school? No.
I did not touch a football until I discovered gay football.
Somebody had to show you a pink football and you were willing to touch it.
I don't want to traffic in stereotypes about gay men, but basically
if you can't get laid doing it, we're probably not going to do it.
Honestly, I was looking for hot athletes to mess around with.
We wear our flags around our waist, so
to stop a play, to tackle someone, you just pull the flags off.
How often do the shorts come down with it?
Pretty much every time.
Our rule is you grab everything.
So, if it's a cute boy, then you win.
So, you can't play flag football with the gay dudes
if you're not ok being pantsed on the field?
That's fair to say.
I'm the assistant commissioner. Assistant commissioner?
You have commissioners?
We have ten people strong board. It's a big league. It's 300 of us.
So why a gay football league?
My story is probably a little bit unique. I grew up Mormon. I have five brothers.
My dad was a football coach, so sports ruled in my family,
and I was not as into it as my brothers were.
So, I never kind of felt like I did my dad proud, or whatever,
so I had this feeling my whole life, like I kind of let him down.
That's so true for so many gay men. So many gay men are
feel really awkward about sports when they're young, and they're
puberty, like being in a locker room. Gyms. Gay men won't go to gyms
when they're teenagers, in high school.
Try to get a gay man out of a gym in his twenties, thirties, forties.
Well that's the thing. So, we're trying to figure out ourselves
and when you're uncomfortable with yourself you're surely not going
to be comfortable around other guys that are comfortable with themselves.
Has your dad seen you play football now?
He has, actually. The first time I won MVP of the football league
I presented him a trophy. You know, we were crying.
It was a really touching moment. That was kind of my aha moment with my dad.
At 27, I was actually able to make him proud.
In some ways, this is an anachronism
to create a new gay parallel universe institution.
Increasingly and surprisingly, there's a lot of support for marriage equality
from football players in the NFL, saying that they would support an openly gay teammate
if somebody wanted to be the gay Jackie Robinson in the NFL.
We'll see what happens, if anyone actually ever does come out.
Comments, questions, videos.
If you have a story about sports in your life,
whether you were too afraid to play sports in high school, or you're playing sports now,
share that story and be sure to subscribe.