Is the BMX subculture homophobic? Are gay boys/men unwelcome at the track?
In the past few years, I’ve heard from many BMXers, both gay and straight. As with the skateboarding and surfing subcultures, it seems there are many gay BMXers, but most aren’t “out” to their fellow riders. Why is that?
Here’s a comment I received from Sean, in Tulsa, OK:
“Hi, Martin. Thanks for the comments you post from queer kids who BMX. I’m 17. I grew up in the Chicago area. I’ve been BMXing since I was 10. I came out to my friends when I was 14, no problem. Nobody picked on me or anything. Nobody gave me any crap. But we moved to Tulsa last year. My dad’s job was transferred. As soon as I found a BMX track, I went there to ride and I knew right away I shouldn’t tel anyone I’m queer. I hear the word “faggot” a lot here. Guys in Oklahoma are just not open to the whole gay thing. I’m not out to anyone here. I think I’ll keep it that way. I plan to go to college back in Chicago. Maybe then I can be myself again.”
Thanks for writing Sean. Sorry Tulsa’s not as tolerant as Chicago. I remember reading S. E. Hinton’s book, The Outsiders. The story took place in Tulsa. You might want to check it out.
I slept in late this morning. This damned cold I have still won’t go away entirely, so I’m running on 90% of my usual energy level. It’s nice out, so I think I’ll take a bike ride before lunch. My boyfriend and I are hosting a little cookout party tonight, with burgers, corn-on-the-cob and other goodies. It should be fun.
Have a nice Thursday, everyone.