Skinny skateboarder; gay skater sounds off …

Hi, friends and readers:

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a comment received from a gay skateboarder via this blog. I mean, I hear from gay skaters fairly often, but some don’t want their comments posted, and many simply repeat what others have already said here.

A couple of days ago, I received a comment from a young man named Bryant. He lives in the Phoenix area, is fifteen years old. Here’s some of what he had to say:

“I read your blog all the time. I like the pictures and I like the comments you get from gay skaters, surfers and other dudes who like cool sports.

“I started skating when I was ten. I bought a second hand board from a friend who got a new one for his birthday. I fell in love with skating right away. I’ve learned a lot since I started and I think today I’m pretty good. I grind most every day. We don’t get much rain or bad weather in Phoenix, so I can skate most any time I want to.

“Let me say something about the gay issue. It’s not always easy to tell if a dude is gay. How would you know unless a dude says, “I’m gay.”? I don’t know. Anyway, I realized I was gay pretty early, like when I was twelve. I just never felt anything toward chicks. I only like dudes. I had a boyfriend during ninth grade, but he didn’t skate and after a while we broke up because he thought I spent too much time skating and not enough with him. Maybe I need to find another gay skater to date, huh?

“Do I tell my skater friends I’m gay? No, I don’t. Why? ‘Cause I don’t want to get the crap beat out of me by older skaters who hate gays. There are quite a few in the skating community, let me tell you. I also don’t want dudes calling me names behind my back or to my face.

“I know some gay skaters have written to you and said they are out to their skater buds and I admire them for doing it, but me? I don’t have the balls. Maybe someday, when I’m older and I can defend myself better. I’m only five-seven, 120 pounds. Understand?”

Thanks for writing me, Bryant. I can understand why you’re keeping your sexual orientation private, at least when you’re dealing with the skateboarding subculture. But I hope you’ll at least find one or two non-skater friends who you can open up to. Since you’ve already had one boyfriend, it sounds like you’re not afraid to share your secret with some people. Good luck, Bryant. Stay in touch.

I’m home after an 18-mile bike ride this morning in Ft. De Soto Park. It was a beautiful morning, overcast and breezy, so it wasn’t too warm. I’ll work on Convict Ass a few hours. My first round of revisions are almost complete. This afternoon, I must pack for my flight to Minnesota. Then, this evening I’m hosting a fish fry at my place, for about six people. A friend caught several flounder, but he doesn’t cook. So, Chef Martin will do it, and we’ll have a nice meal.

Enjoy your Tuesday, everyone.

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