I get comments from gay surfers fairly often and I always enjoy reading them. Some are upbeat, some not, and one I received today sort of made my blood boil.
A young man named Nick, age nineteen, from Santa Cruz, CA wrote to say this:
“I go to community college and work part-time at a restaurant as a dishwasher. I’ve been surfing since I was eight. My dad taught me. He has surfed since he was a teenager. Not to brag, but I’m pretty good. I’ve placed in several comps here, where the competition’s tough. People know me at Steamer Lane, and up until recently I had a cool posse who I THOUGHT were my friends.
“A couple of months ago I told my friend Jesse I was gay. We’ve known each other since sixth grade and we’ve surfed together forever. I thought he’d be cool about the situation, but it wasn’t the case. He got all defensive and asked me if I was hot for him, if that’s why he was my friend.
“I just kinda blew up and said, ‘Look, fucker, if you think our friendship is about sex you’re wrong. Why are you being such a douche?’
“Well, next thing I knew everybody in the world knows I am gay. I mean everybody. I go out to surf and guys in the lineup call me names: faggot, sissie, butt-pirate, all kinds of names. It ruins the whole experience of surfing. Now I won’t even go to Steamer Lane, I go to some other break north or south of Santa Cruz where people don’t know me.
“When I tried calling Jesse about the situation, he wouldn’t answer my calls, I just got his voicemail and he never answered any of them or my texts. I can’t believe what an asshole he’s been about this. I mean, what’s the big deal about me being gay? I’m still the same person I’ve always been. I just prefer dudes to girls. What’s wrong with that?
“Anyway, tell the shredders who follow your blog to think twice about telling their surfing buds about being gay. It sure didn’t go well for me.”
Thanks for writing, Nick. I hope you don’t mind that I shared your comment with folks who follow my blog. I’m sorry about what happened to you. It won’t always go that way, you know. I promise. There are plenty of accepting people out there. But I’ve been to a Volcom surfing comp in Santa Cruz and I definitely sensed the local surfing community wasn’t gay-friendly. It’ll be better elsewhere. I guarantee it.
Okay, friends and readers, have a nice Monday evening.