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ejorbit

Homophobia in the Wrestling Community

Rating: 7 votes, 3.86 average.
Note: This blog entry contains explicit content in the form of profanity and other offensive language.

Prologue:

I want to say right off the bat; I’m not looking to pick fights with this post. I’m going to ramble and it may not always tie into wrestling perfectly but it’s not that kind of post. I’m not going to say that my opinions are right and everyone should believe in them. We live in a world today where people and their viewpoints on moral issues often get thrown into extremes. When it comes to a subject like political correctness, people on either side often get labeled as too soft or morally bankrupt. People refuse to acknowledge that huge grey area that lies in-between that represents most of us.

I’m 28. I’m stating this because I know the users/readers on this site probably range from 8-80. I may not have the wisdom and insight of someone who has lived a full lifetime, but I’d like to think I have a reasonable amount of perspective. I’m a moderate by nature. People might read this and think, “how can you be a moderate and have such a strong stance on a matter like gay rights?” Because on most issues I at least marginally agree with (or see the viewpoint of) both sides and hover somewhere around that, previously alluded to, middle ground.

Now that that’s out of the way….

I am not a homosexual but I 100% support gay rights. I believe in their right to marry and live their lives as they choose. I also believe in fundamental human decency. I look at people who are so vehemently against the homosexual lifestyle and wonder whom they would have sided with during the US civil war (1861-1865). Had those people lived in Germany during the 1930s and 40s, would they have blindly followed Hitler as he made every attempt to exterminate Jews from this planet? I think these things and then I think about wrestling fans. More then that, I think about the general public’s perception of wrestling fans. We often get lumped into that awful cliché of fat, nose picking, living in the basement of mom’s house, losers. And what makes me frustrated is that I see it. I see why the world at large thinks of us this way.

“yeah that’s why I been coughing for like 3 weeks, sick and all. This shit for the faggots.”
-Scorpio Sky (twitter)

“Another Dude obsessed w/ my hair #homo.”
-Shawn Michaels (twitter)

“… try and teach my kids that there’s nothing wrong with [same sex marriage] and I’ll fucking shoot you.”
-Jay Briscoe (twitter)

“That's your material, you can have your joke back. Don’t go racing to Witch Mountain, because your mountain is brokeback.”
-John Cena (WWE Raw)

Look at that list of names. Pretty interesting group consisting of: the biggest name in wrestling today (Cena), the (arguably) best wrestler of all time (Michaels), the ROH champion at the time of his comment (Briscoe), and a WWE developmental prospect and television personality (Sky). The comments range from casually naive to outright appalling. Really, aside from Briscoe’s tweet, none of the quotes appear intentionally malicious. However, that doesn’t mean it was the only comment that could be construed as being out of line.

Comedian Lewis C.K. has a great bit about the word “faggot.” “I miss that word you know,” he says, “I grew up saying that word. And it never meant gay.” He goes on, “faggot didn’t mean gay. When I was a kid you called someone a faggot cause they’re being a faggot.” And I think that’s the prevailing thought process for a lot of people out there. Faggot is just another way of saying “asshole” or “douche bag.” Based on his follow-up tweets, I believe Scorpio Sky views the word in this manner. But what he, and many others, fails to realize is most people who follow him on twitter don’t know him on a personal level. They’ve seen him work matches, cut promos, sign autographs, but that’s probably it. And he fails to realize that that word holds a lot of weight for some people. He’s never been bullied for his sexual preference. He’s never been shoved against a locker and had “fucking faggot” screamed into his face. Personally, I talk a lot of shit when it’s just my friends and me. But I understand there’s a lot of stuff I say to them that I can’t just throw out into the world with no context. The world at large doesn’t know me. And it’s not about being PC or oppressing freedom of speech, it’s about being an educated and mindful human being who gets that not everyone thinks like me.

Not long after Sky’s comments, there was serious backlash. WWE, due to their affiliation with GLAD, was quick to cut ties. Wrestling fans were swift in their response with a surge of vile comments. Filth along the lines of “fuck GLAD,” and “why do gay people have to be such faggots?” People cried out that the gay community was too sensitive. There were arguments like, “no matter how much people protest or moan about gay jokes etc it's never gonna stop so just accept it.” Cause that’s a reasonable way of thinking. So, back in 1850, black people should have just accepted slavery cause it had been around for awhile and it was never going to change? Women should have been okay with the idea of not being able to vote before 1920 cause that’s just the way it was?

I’m sure everyone’s heard the cliché, “try walking in my shoes before judging me.” You know what you never hear? “I’m going to walk in the shoes of those around me before judging them.” Strive to be a better person. “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

I feel this is a good place to stop even though I know I’ve only just scratched the surface. Maybe there will be a part 2 down the line.

As always, thank you for Reading. Feel free to leave praise or constructive feedback. Normally I’m okay with trolling but I hope you all respect yourselves and respect my opinions in this particular piece enough to refrain from being hateful/hurtful.

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Comments

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  1. RobVelcoff's Avatar
    Wonderful blog topic, ejorbit. While I am straight, I have a younger brother who is gay, so this is a very important issue to me. I am as strong a supporter of gay rights as you will find anywhere (pro gay marriage, equal rights, etc.). All sports, including wrestling (which I know is not technically a sport, but there is a similar locker room mentality) look down on any perceived weakness, and homosexuals are often considered unmanly, or weak. Of course this is incorrect, but there is that perceived notion. Vince McMahon is an unltra-conservative, as are many of his closest associates, so this topic has been ripe for misuse by the professional wrestling industry. That being said, this is a topic that has been handled fairly well of late. The Chuck & Billy storyline from a few years back is one example. Still, that was just a storyline. Chris Canyon, the first openly gay wrestler who later committed suicide, had to stay in the closet during his active career for fear of repisals. And while I agree that the Shawn Michaels and John Cena tweets were meant to be generic insults and not anti-gay, it was still wrong of them to write those things, just as wrong as using the N bomb to blacks or the C word to women. Some things are just better off left unsaid, and there are more generic and funnier insults to hurl at people (the late Freddy Blassie's "pencil-necked geek" comes to mind).

    One of the most thought provoking blogs I have ever read on this site, ejorbit. Well done!
  2. ejorbit's Avatar
    Thanks very much, the feedback means a lot. Looking back, I felt like the piece might have taken too long to get going so I'm glad you enjoyed it. I ended up cutting it short so as not to overwhelm readers with a 6 page (ms word) blog. I do hope to touch on the other tweets/comments in a future post.
  3. nothingmusic42's Avatar
    Good blog on a touchy subject. I'm a 34 year-old straight male. When i was 7, my uncle came out of the closet because he had just been diagnosed as HIV-positive. He passed when i was 14. This being the late 80's, the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition were still going strong and i witnessed first-hand to blind hatred aimed at the LGBT community.
    When it comes to wrestling and the above tweets, i try to keep in mind that these are essentially dumb jocks. The Cena one was a dig at the Rock's acting choices. Michaels was cracking on a guy for commenting on his hair. The Jay Briscoe tweet is the only one based out of true ignorance.
    I always try to remember that wrestling tends to an F- at being PC. Wrestling always uses the worst stereotypes to establish characters. Papa Shango, Razor Ramon, the Mountie, etc are all characters that are pretty bad stereotypes.
  4. Anyrysm's Avatar
    Very thoughtful and well-handled with difficult subject matter. I applaud your efforts. I also support the position you have taken.
  5. #BITW's Avatar
    why is not liking gay stuff such a horrible thing? I understand your point though, the jabs at gays is not fully necessary, but a group is always going to receieve it
  6. DK Wrestling Savior's Avatar
    Great blog. I'm not against the gay rights issue at all. I'm not a vocal supporter, I'm more in the "it doesn't bother me" category. The same goes with race, religion etc. To me, we're all people and we all have our lifestyle preferences. Just because I'm straight, gives me no right to even have an opinion on someone else's love life.
  7. hiphopjunkie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by #BITW
    why is not liking gay stuff such a horrible thing? I understand your point though, the jabs at gays is not fully necessary, but a group is always going to receieve it
    That's the point he's getting at. Just because something is a certain way, doesn't mean we should accept that. We should strive to understand people and better ourselves.
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