Gay skateboarder speaks out …

Hi, friends and readers:

The never-ending debate over gay boys/men participating in the skateboarding subculture rages on. You’d be surprised by some of the vitriolic comments I receive from homophobic skaters. And you’d be saddened by comments I receive from closeted gay skaters, some of them as young as thirteen. Among the latter comments, the most frequent statement I hear is this: “I feel lonely, isolated and a little scared. I don’t have any gay friends and no one knows I’m gay.”

Yesterday I received such a comment from a gay skateboarder named Julian, age fifteen, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area. He didn’t say which town, probably for good reason. Julian said the following:

“I live with my mom and sister. My dad left us when I was eight. I think my mom was afraid I’d become a sissy, without my dad around. She bought me my first skateboard when I was ten. I learned from guys in my neighborhood and practiced a lot, then I started going to the skatepark, learning tricks and I got pretty good. Last year I placed third in my age division at a comp in Oakland. I was up against some pretty tough grinders.

“I’m not a sissy, Martin. But I am gay, I know I am. I’m not interested in girls in a sexual way, though I do have friends who are girls. I am only attracted to guys. My problem is I don’t have any gay friends. I tried going to a gay teen support group meeting, but the kids there were kind of messed up, not people I’d want to hang out with.

“I had one skater friend who I thought I could trust. I told him I was gay and he told me he was cool with it, no problem. But after a while he stopped calling me and stopped hanging with me at the skatepark. It was all subtle, but after a while I knew he wasn’t going to be my friend any longer. Well, at least he hasn’t told anyone that I am gay.

“My point is, I don’t think it is wise for me, or any other gay skater, to come out to guys in the skater world. It’s just too homophobic. I wish it wasn’t this way, but it is. Skating’s important to me, it’s the coolest thing in my life. I don’t want to feel uncomfortable when I visit the skatepark. I don’t want guys talking about me behind my back and calling me a fag. I plan to keep my gayness a secret.”

Thanks for writing, Julian. I’m sorry about your friend rejecting you. Trust me, you will eventually find a gay skater friend, if not through a local support group, then online. I know for a fact there are many gay skaters out there, of all ages. Be patient.

Okay, my fish dinner last night was a success, I love that marinade recipe. My guests left around ten PM and by the time I finished cleaning up I felt exhausted. It seems like I’ve been on the go now for a week, nonstop. I went to bed around eleven and fell asleep reading a new book I just bought, The Vast Fields Of Ordinary. So far, I really like it.

I have a quiet day ahead. I’ll write for a while, then I have yard work to do this afternoon. The weather here is beautful today: warm and sunny, with a light breeze. This evening I’ll make dinner for myself and a relative, then I’ll spend more time reading The Vast Fields Of Ordinary.

Enjoy your Thursday, everyone.

4 thoughts on “Gay skateboarder speaks out …

  1. hi there, Im Adam Gregg. I live in plymouth, devon, UK and i skate and gay! everyknows im gay (i do have to add i am 19 and i was 16 when i came out so i was easier for me) but I think with me, im not camp or sissy like julian, i just like guys and my mates understand that XD, i think it is hard but its like coming out to anyone, it just has to be on yr own time and you’ll find alot of young people are more open then you think and you can truely find out who your real friends are.

    enjoyed reading the blog and good luck julian

    Adam Gregg

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