This morning, I woke to a comment from Trey, age sixteen, a skateboarder from Birmingham, AL, who’s a high school junior. He gave me permission to post his comment, as long as his e-mail address wasn’t revealed, nor his computer I. P. In accordance with my confidentiality policies, I’m putting his comment up in this post.
Trent said this:
“I’ve been a skater since I was ten years old. I’m as good as anyone in Birmingham. I’ve won a few trophies at competitions here and in Atlanta too. I was sponsored by one of our local skate shops until last week. They paid for my boards, my trucks and wheels. They gave me t-shirts and shorts and shoes and paid my entrance fees in comps.
“About a month ago, I came out to everyone I know through Facebook. I’m not ashamed of being gay and I wanted to be honest about it. I thought people would be cool with it and some have been, but some haven’t including the owner of the skate shop. Last week, he called me and told me he was cancelling my sponsorship. He said he had to “cut back on expenses”, but I know he was bullshitting me.
“Another skater he sponsors heard him say something like, ‘If Trent’s gay that’s his business, I guess. But this isn’t San Francisco and I don’t want my business associated with a cocksucker. He can find another sponsor.’
“I can’t believe this. What a narrow-minded prick. Who does he think he is? God? I can’t wait to go to college and get away from this town and all the bigots who live here. I expected the skater community to be more tolerant, but I guess I expected too much.
“Well, I am what I am and that’s not going to change. But my advice to other gay skaters is, be careful who you tell about your sexual orientation. I wasn’t and I got burned.”
Damn, Trey, I’m sorry that happened. You told me you’ve followed this site for a while. If you’ve read the old posts from other gay skaters, you know they’ve had mixed reactions from other skaters when they came out. I agree, it’s probably best to tell people with a one by one approach, rather than by a scatter-shot posting via Facebook.
In other matters … My boyfriend and I planned to travel to Florida’s East Coast today, to surf for a couple of days. But the surf reports aren’t good. It’s windy and choppy over there, due to a cold front approaching. It wouldn’t be worth the time and expense to go. So, we’re golfing at a course near Sarasota instead, not a bad backup plan.
It’s nice here today, albeit breezy. Wherever you are, I hope it’s pleasant as well.