Sunday, March 28, 2010

TV And The Real World


During the weekend I had sometime to sit down and watch some of the NCAA tournament and what a tournament it is, with so many quality games, so many upsets and surprises, it's the best any basketball fan can wish for.

Watching it started me thinking about TV and it's relationship with the gay community or the gay world, I'm not old enough to remember the 70's and parts of the 80's, but I know that the 90's and this last decade brought a different approach to the word gay and everything around it.

If I take will and grace which started in 1998 and was very successful, and was really a great show with a wide audience , or I can take Ellen's show which she eventually came out in. I think shows with a gay main character was around, but not in the way that it is today.

Basically I think that a lot of shows have taking a different attitude, nowadays a lot of drama's and a lot of shows have gay relationships, gay affairs and characters that play a gay role and do it on a regular base.

I might be missing a lot of shows and maybe not correct in every word I say on the subject, but I feel that it's becoming something that is taking more lately, in the meaning that it's just another relationship on a show and in a story. I would like to say, just like a straight couple but I think it's still not there.

I also believe that the wide audience has learned to accept it more openly and to see it as something that is a part of day to day life, even though it's just TV, I do believe that it has an effect on people and on teenagers that watch the shows.

I believe that those shows can deliver a message a big part of the time, telling others that it's fine to be gay, that it's normal to be gay and that there are others around, and maybe even that can bring some peace of mind to those who need it.

I'm not lying to myself, of course I know that there are still a lot of homophobic shows, or shows that tend to the situation in the wrong way or try to bring gays out not as equals, but I believe that any movement forward is a blessed thing.

On a personal note, when I watch a gay couple on TV, it always feels so real to me, maybe it's because it's something I want and maybe cause sometimes, me and others can make the separation between just a character and real life.

A lot of times I wish that I could meet that great looking guy or that great looking couple, even forgetting for a moment that it's just an actor who 99 % of the time isn't even gay. I guess wanting something so bad makes you think and wish things that aren't always reality.

On a Different subject, when I started this blog, I looked to find people to talk to and to share my thoughts and hear what they have to say, I'm happy to say that with every post and every day that goes by, I hear more from people and I get the chance to talk to others, to share my feelings and hear there own feelings, and I must say it's great!!

Got to finish on a optimistic song after a post like this, I could save this song to the day I retire and move on to my other life, but I'm in a good mood, so It's as good as time as any :

There's a new me coming out
And I just had to live
And I wanna give
I'm completely positive
I think this time around
I am gonna do it
Like you never do it
Like you never knew it
Ooh, I'll make it through

The time has come for me
To break out of the shell
I have to shout
That I'm coming out

Thursday, March 25, 2010

" It Can Happen Any Day"

I brought the subject up once, and that's the subject of injuries,it came up in the post about handling the pressure. It talked more about faking injuries or hoping in my subconscious to get injured so I won't have to deal with the pressure that certain games and events bring up, pressure that isn't easy to deal with.

Unfortunately, there are the real injuries, something no one thinks about to much, until it happens. We as athletes are supposed to be the healthiest ones around, since we work out so much and practice all day and every day, but professional sports can be hazard's to anyone's health.

On the pro level it stops being a sport that we do for fun and it becomes work, and usually players are over worked and over practiced and they hurt their body.

When a player gets injured it's the most helpless feeling in the world, you can't do what you love but also you can't do your job, you can eventually lose your contract and salary and the option to play later on in your career.

I have seen players that tore a ligament, tore their ACL, broke several bones and other harsh injuries that can kill dreams, hopes and careers in seconds and all of this with a quick and wrong turn, fall or just bad luck.

We sometimes get so motivated and so pumped with adrenaline that we don't notice we are hurt or that we need to rest or to take it easy, cause we just want to go on and practice and play and be a part of what's going on, reading about or seeing someone get injured always brings it back to my mind and also to others, that things can end very quickly and very painfully, without us having a chance to change it or control it.

Sports is a short enough career anyway, and when it can end in the middle of it's prime, from something that took exactly 5 seconds it's scary and sometimes hard to accept. Even though we are all sure we aren't the one's who will be injured, it's not really up to us and lady luck, or in my case manly luck :) can blink it's eye for a second and it will all be over.

In more gay related subjects, it was interesting to hear and read the article in dime magazine :

I really believe that the gay subject in sport's is developing and getting more intention with everyday going by, I can't say what the outcome will be, but I'm sure that their are some journalists who would love to interview a gay pro player and put it out there and see what the reactions will be.

As I said before, I don't believe that such a player will come forward and do it, but maybe I will be surprised. Maybe things are changing faster than I thought they would or maybe it's just a temporary thing.

I also have been reading about teams that have promotional nights for the gay community, I wonder if it's out of a real wish and desire to appeal to other major crowds out there, or is it just in order to sell tickets and avoid empty seats.

In general I have to say that things are pretty much the same, I have been a good boy for so long that I'm about to go crazy, but besides that, well, guess there isn't much besides that....

This song is just a general thought :

I'm tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless lost under the surface
Don't know what you're expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Go With The Flow

Well, first of all I want to thank all those who left a comment or emailed me, it's always a great pleasure to hear other people sharing the thoughts and wishes they have. Along with all the nice complements and kind words that always put a smile on my face, I will remember it when I start writing a book :)

I can say that while I'm sitting down and writing this post I have no idea where it's headed and I don't really have any topic on my mind, so I will just go with what over comes out.

I already mentioned that like the NBA and most leagues around the world we are slowly heading to the deciding stages of the season, and it's always a fun time. like any other competitive sports there is a reason they always say you are as good as your last game, in this case maybe it's not a game, but it's a period of time and we are heading there.

The later parts of the season usually show a team's true character, cause suddenly the pressure is much bigger and everyone around , of course usually the players are the one who show it the most.

The players begin to be nervous and under pressure because everyone wants to bring achievements to his team and be known as a player that can contribute in the money time.

Through the years I slowly found out that each one deals with things differently, some show the same ability and behave the same, some find it hard and either close themselves out or just don't play the same level of basketball they used to, and of course there are some who raise and shine at the money time, I guess a guy by the name of Michael Jordan is a good example :). Guess it would be up to other people to say what kind of a player I am, so i'm sure to ask them for an answer, I will just tell them I need it for my blog,lol.

Leaving basketball aside, I'm starting to get excited about the yearly vacation, there is still time to go and there is still things that need to be decided, but just the thought of it gets me excited.

I'm already waiting for the first party I go out to, it's kind of the opening of summer, or as I described it, my 10 days of letting the other person in me have it's due time.

I'm waiting just to step in a pub, get a drink and sit back and enjoy looking at other guys, dance, get drunk or whatever I feel like, without needing to think basketball or to care if anyone is looking or if anyone knows who I am. Just to relax and take a load off after a long time that I played nice :).

Like I said before, since we are headed to the last period of the season, I guess it's always fun to enjoy the most action filled couple of months before I go on vacation, it's just lets me put all I got in this period and knowing that my "prize" is waiting just around the corner.

Not forgetting the gay side of this blog, I had a discussion about the Ohio state coach interview and his acceptance of gays, I don't remember if I mentioned this, while I appreciate what he had to say, I know that there are a lot of coaches out there who think differently and for them gays shouldn't be involved in sports or it least not on their team.

If you take a look at NBA coaches, just as an example of course, most of them used to be players, just like me and just like others, so I guess they come from the same back round and same homophobic locker rooms and natural responses of a lot of athletes.

I'm not saying that all NBA or sport coaches are homophobic, I'm sure that a lot wouldn't mind, I'm just saying that there are a lot of opinions also on this subject. It might be a subject worth a discussion, I still remember some of the comments about John Amechi coming out, for example Tim Hardaway and likes, for me those are just primitive and homophobic people, but unfortunately there are a lot of them.

Finishing off with a couple of sentences from a nice quite song :

It's like I've waited my whole life for this one night
It's gonna be me you and the dance floor
'cause we've only got one night (one night)
Double your pleasure
Double your fun and dance
Forever (ever, ever)

Maybe instead of one night I should write down ten :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Anyone Out There?


I talked in one of my early posts about Gareth Thomas the rugby player that came out, and I mentioned that with so many pro players in so many sports and no gay ones known to the public then it's obvious to everyone that they are in the closet, each one with his own reason and own agenda, of course I'm also one of those same guys.

I was thinking yesterday a little bit about this subject, just on my personal behalf, not a community thing, not for finding someone gay to lead the gay march around the world, but just someone that I could be in touch with, talk to, and get to know.

It's somewhat crazy, they say that one from every fifteen is gay, if we take the minimum approach, and there are around 13-14 players in each team, and god knows how many teams, and still you might know about one gay player and that's also after he retired.

I'm not blaming anyone and not expecting anyone to make a move that I myself cant and wont, but for my own sake, for my well being I wish I could just fined one guy like that. As I wrote before, just to feel I can share my story with someone who has more or less the same story and see what happens from there.

To be honest, it's something that pops into my mind a lot, not during the game, but maybe before when we start talking about the team we are about to face, or just when I see other teams play on TV, I say to myself that someone around here has go to be in the same situation as me.

It's not like I'm going to start asking every player that I think is a nice guy if he's gay or not, and of course I'm not going to say anything about myself, so that just leaves me thinking and wishing.

Like every work place and where there is a group of adults in a conversation the subject does come up, I have heard rumors about players in different leagues in different places in the world, some I guess are just rumors and some might be reality, I personally don't think that I come up in those conversations, but one can never know.

About others, well, I can say with quite a lot of confidence that in the teams I played for everyone was straight, but maybe I'm just kidding myself or don't have a good enough gay radar. Before I wrote about one out of every fifteen, I think that in pro sports, where you have to go through so much that involves other men, body contact and basically living and breathing each other the number of gays would be smaller, cause it's something that isn't easy and not for everyone.

With that said, I'm sure there are plenty of them out there, and if anyone is reading this blog and just wants to chat I would be more than happy, but I will stay rational and not hope for too many things that won't come true. I doubt that this one will, but then again, what do we have without hope...

My finishing song hits the spot this time, well at least I think it does....

I work hard every day of my life
I work till I ache my bones
At the end I take home my hard earned pay all on my own -
I get down on my knees
And I start to pray
Till the tears run down from my eyes
Lord - somebody - somebody
Can anybody find me - somebody to love?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Live To Fight Another Day??

Hey again

This time I want to talk about a little about the professional side of things in a career of a basketball player. Unlike the NBA, overseas things are done a little different. First of all, once you sign a contract in the NBA, your money is guaranteed no matter what, even if you get traded you continue with the same salary in your new team.

Overseas things don't work like that, first of all there are no trades without a players agreement, a team can't come one morning and tell you that you have been traded. In the NBA those things happen on a daily basis, where players rights are moved from one team to another. Over here you need to have the players consent in order to make any moves.

Another thing that happens here unlike the NBA is that a player will be cut from the team in the middle of the season, usually with the team agreeing to pay him part of his future salary in order to get his agreement to part ways. Same places around the globe will sign players for a monthly contract, something that does happen in the NBA, and after that will decide on his future.

Another big difference is that in every league around the globe, or at least 95 percent of it, whether it's South America, Venezuela, China, Europe or Asia there is a limitation on the number of players holding an American passport that are allowed to be on a team.

For example some leagues allow four Americans or five to be a part of a team at one time, that means that if a team wants to make a change in the squad they have to cut one of the American's on the team, unless they haven't signed the maximum number of players allowed.

Since it's something that happens quite often during the season it's never fun to see teammates leave and others replace them, especially when basketball is like life, it's a lot about opportunities and sometimes being in the right place in the right time, and not only about your ability.

Continuing on that notion, a lot of times basketball is a game you have to prove yourself day in and day out, each game starts from zero, it's never fun to play when you know that your job can be on the line, and if not it's not then just your contract next year, the amount of money you make and in which level you play.

If you want to take a look at the game from a different angle try to compare it to other routine jobs. I'm not saying that basketball is more important than any other job, but it's just different. If you happen to be a business man, you have to make a lot of important decisions regarding a lot of different things, that usually mean that a lot of money is depending if you make a good decision or a bad one.

However each time you need to make that kind of decision you can sit with the papers, the reports, your advisers and talk and try to figure out what is the best move, of course it's very pressuring and your are always trying to succeed, the difference in basketball is big.

In basketball each decision is very important to the game, however unlike the office, everything is very dynamic and you have to decide the fate of the "deal" in a split second, if you pass the ball one second late or fall asleep on defense, or you don't release the ball at the right time on your jump shoot the "deal" goes south. It can result in being benched, losing the game, or just hurting your teams chance of wining.

There is a reason they say that basketball is a game of mistakes and the team that makes less mistakes will usually end up winning it. The pressure and the adrenaline of this dynamic game and needing to decide everything in a split second is what makes me and I'm sure a lot of players in love with the game, but the pressure is always there and each decision has a half of second of "reading the files, dealing with papers and talking to advisers" after that half second you are all on your own, and you will find out very fast if your clinched the deal or not.

My song for this post needs no introduction :

I've paid my dues -
Time after time -
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime -
And bad mistakes
I've made a few
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face -
But I've come through

I've taken my bows
And my curtain calls -
You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it
-I thank you all -
But it's been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise -
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race -
And I ain't gonna lose

Friday, March 12, 2010

A New Page

Well, I already had a post ready for this week, but decided to make a last minute change. First of all I'm happy to have more readers join my blog and I send my thanks to Jim who helped me out with everything and also had the confidence to believe my story and give me a small stage.

I wrote this before, but I will repeat it for all the new comers, I decided to start this blog first of all to share my thoughts, my desires and some of the things I deeply want and can't have or can't talk about. It gives me a great feeling to receive emails and hear from others with a story that's related to mine, or even people who just want to give a good word.

Of course another thing that came out of all this is the opportunity to help out other people, whether youngsters or people around my age who can also benefit from talking and sharing, it wasn't the reason i started this blog, but surely it's a pure bonus.

If there are some that aren't sure if I am who I claim to be, I can just say that I have my truth and for me it's enough, from here on out you can take it to anywhere you feel is right,good or bad.

Basketball wise, I usually don't tell too many stories or talk about my games for logical reasons, like every league across the world, or at least most of it, this is getting close to the last period of the season, and the playoffs, just like the NBA.

It's always fun to play on a team that competes in the high level, and that playoff time is when the team and each individual get the chance to prove their hard work all season paid off, so I hope to have that same feeling in the end of the year, but one can never know.

Just like most of the players, the pre game is a time of thinking and a time of getting ready for what's in store that evening, I can tell you from my side that I always have the feeling that the last game doesn't mean anything. I can never get confidence that anything I did last time around can help me out in the game that's coming up.

On one side it might be some insecurity, a feeling that even when I play a good game it can be just luck or a one time thing and next time around nothing is going to work, not the shot, not the pass, D, or anything else for that matter.

On the other hand, I sometimes feel that it might be a way for me to take the exceptions down, the exceptions I set for myself, maybe that way when I have a bad game I won't feel bad or really disappointed, but sadly enough it never works out.

I always have the tendency to be very harsh with myself, I can finish a day with 17 points and 6-9 from the field and I will only remember the 3 missed shots and try to think why I missed them and that I could have done better, and that's usually the feeling I go with, it's rear that I will sit down and say to myself great job and will be thinking about those 6 makes.

In some way I think it does have something to do with me being gay, maybe it's making a complicated situation easy by saying it like this, but I think that since like most guys who fight with their sexuality I felt bad for the most part of my childhood and youth. I tried to reject the thoughts and the emotions, since being gay is " wrong, not normal" and I can go on and on.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that going around feeling bad about myself since I'm different might explain why I only look on the bad things, those things that I grow up feeling and grow up thinking about, maybe in some way I need those feelings to give me the "approval" that I'm still different and not as good as the others cause I'm gay.

I know it's not a matter of black and white, and I can happily say that I feel much better about myself than I used to, but I guess it's not a completed process. Maybe somewhere it's the homophobic side of me, a side that was always there but was developed by being in locker rooms and around guys that are usually homophobic and have tendency to make gays to be less man, not worthy and for sure not equal to all the rest.

I still see myself as work in progress, I can really say that I feel good with my career and the direction it's going, and even though every game worries me all over and I'm never sure my ability will surface Things are going good. I do sometimes start to think if my issues with myself and my sexual preferences don't prevent me from reaching my full potential, but this is something for another post.

I have been trying to sign off with lyrics from a song that just feels right at that same moment, this is a little different , but aren't we all :).

Risin' up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive

So many times, it happens too fast
You change your passion for glory
Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Bright Future Is Out There

In the last couple of months, since I got into the world of blogging, I started to understand that people also changed, and I'm not talking about people my age,or older than me, but I'm talking about the youth, the kids, the teenagers. I'm referring especially to the young gay kids in the world, girls, boys, makes no difference.

I can't be sure that it's not just me starting to be more aware of things, reading more stuff online and getting to know new and different things, but I really have a feeling that something is changing.

It can be a small thing, such as blogs of kids who open up to the world, and tell their story, I'm even referring in local terms. For me, Mikey the hockey kids blog (, and now Jon the track and field guy( represent something, they represent a different generation that perhaps starts to be a growing power in the world.

That even though the world we live in is still homophobic and prejudice, people aren't afraid to share the story they have with others. I know the examples I gave are of kids who haven't come out yet, but I'm sure that the millions of blogs out there and some that I read, do speak about kids that also took another step and are out to the world.

I most say that I can't and don't want to judge, everyone does what he thinks is right and makes him feel better, whether it's writing a blog about being gay, not telling anyone about it or just shouting it from the roof tops.

I just feel that things aren't the same they used to be when just some years back, I see young kids demonstrate, fight for their wishes and desires, build and start groups for LGBT youth and basically just say that we are here and we have a right to speak our mind even though we aren't 18.

I honestly can't say I ever attended a gay parade or pride weekend, but I do read up and see that there are special activities and special things being done for the younger once in the community and that's always great to hear. For that matter for me each one of us belongs to the community, it's not something we chose, but something that choose us.

Being a part of the community doesn't mean going out and taking part in any activity, leaving our house and telling people we are gay, but it just means that we share a mutual thing, something that characterizes a part of us, whether we are men, women, if we are feminine, manly, outgoing or not, we are each different, but with one common thing.

Unfortunately I'm still aware and sure that there are groups and organizations that have a goal and that's to fight against the "gay movement" in a matter of speaking. I think that dip down all of us just want to be looked at as everyone else, with no one caring what is our sexual preference.

Sadly enough the USA which is supposed to be a country of freedom and diversity, where each one can live his life the way he chooses, is still very old fashioned, very religious and conservative. Of course there is always the big cities that allow any community to live among them, whether it's New York , Los Angels, San Francisco and a couple of more cities and there for the most part everyone can feel at home and not different then anyone else.

I know my words come out as very black and white, and I know that our world has a lot of gray in it,and maybe some things I say are very generalizing, but again, that's the way I feel. The way I see the internet and all the possibilities it bring all the youngsters today, and all of us know what meaning it has, for them to know that they aren't alone, that they can find someone to tell their life story to, whether he is 100 miles away or 1000 miles away is just so important and so unique.

It's something that I have gotten to learn lately and I think it's progressing every day and every month and bringing more and more places for youngsters to be influenced and to influence others. I believe we all know that gay teenagers tend to try and commit suicide more than straight teenagers. In a sense that maybe they feel different, or scared to tell their family or scared of being rejected by their family, can leave them feeling alone in the world or just not feeling loved.

With those thoughts I also believe that the internet and the possibilities that it gives those young kids a chance to reach out and see that they are not alone and that there are a lot of other gay teenagers around makes the world of difference and can really save life's.

What I'm trying to say is that I always feel good when a youngster comments about my blog and other blogs saying they feel good hearing about other athletes and other gay men out there. However I can really say that I feel pride and proud when I read the blogs they write and the courage they have to tell their story and along the way help a lot of others kids, the same kids that later on start to build there own live, to stand up for what they want and believe in, and just speak up so everyone can hear.

the song I picked this time needs no explanation, so I will just sign off with the lyrics

Some are like water, some are like the heat
Some are a melody and some are the beat
Sooner or later they all will be gone
Why don't they stay young
It's so hard to get old without a cause
I don't want to perish like a fading horse
Youth is like diamonds in the sun
And diamonds are forever
So many adventures couldn't happen today
So many songs we forgot to play
So many dreams are swinging out of the blue
We let them come true

Forever young, i want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever forever
Forever young, i want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever forever forever
Forever young, i want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever forever
Forever young, i want to be forever "

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Day After

Hey again

Well, since I still have some years to go before I have to start thinking about the day after it doesn't cross my mind too much, at least not in the rational sense. I don't think about what I will do in the working sense or what profession will I chose or if I will stay in basketball or not.

One thing I do feel pretty strong about is just living my life once I stop been a professional basketball player. I don't know when it will happen, and it's not something that I set a time table on, but I do really believe that the latest that I will be out and just go about my business will be when I retire.

Again, it's the way things look now, I can't guess what the years will bring and what will happen in the future, but that's my feelings for now.

My thoughts are usually in a different place, I often think of what does it all mean, and it's not in the sense of being gay, straight or bi, it's just that in the mix of all the rush and adrenaline and fun I a think a lot about the meaning of everything.

It's not easy to explain, but I just mean, all the hard work, all the practices all the games that I have had and played and in the end when I grow old and will be sitting with myself at home, what will the meaning of it be? will I care or remember any championship I took, any personal title I won or will all that not put a smile on my face.

I sometimes get that feeling when I watch a full season of some TV show I want to catch up on, or spending hours on the ps3, it's something fun and nice, but winning a championship on nba10 doesn't leave me with anything to take from it but plain fun. It might cross my mind afterward s that I just burned time on nothing.

I can't fully explain my feelings on that subject or put it to paper, but it's just something that's not based on rational. It's the same as seeing people work and work and work, even after they are rich and achieved enough and they don't rest and don't stop, what will they remember in the end? another million they made or lost?.

Maybe what I'm trying to get at is trying to find a answer on how we can leave a mark before we exit this world, Or just get to the age when we sit back and look at everything. Will we remember the good times we had?, or the achievements?, or the money we made or could of made?, or will it just come down to a nice season or a nice period in my life I will remember?

In someway maybe I'm just putting my fears on paper, or in this case on the virtual page. Maybe worrying that the things I do aren't important enough to sit down and feel good about later on? Even though it's something I think about in relations to a lot of people I know that don't deal with sports, but with other things and other lines of work.

I can only wish that once I have a boyfriend and later on kids ( or at least I wish to) and basically live a different life , with a family and friends and living freely then I will feel like I have more things that will give me a good feeling. More things that let me sit down and smile ,like seeing the kids grow older and being together with someone I love.

The funny thing is that while writing this, I try to think about myself during a game, I'm so excited and in such a high adrenaline rush, going all crazy. I guess that brings me back to the point that this really matters, because if it was just for passing time or making money then I wouldn't feel any of those things. If it's not important why should I get all hyped up about it.

I come back to this point all the time, I'm doing something I love so much and want so much. Looking to the future I can only hope that those years I put in and worked hard everyday will stay with me after I grow old, and will leave me with a good taste.

A song that came to my mind has some words that can relate to my worries and less to my wishes in this post, again, it's not what I picture or hope for, but it's just a nice song:

Wake up in the morning, stumble on my life
Can't get no love without sacrifice
If anything should happen, I guess I wish you well
A little bit of heaven, but a little bit of hell

This is the hardest story that I've ever told
No hope, or love, or glory
Happy endings gone forever more
I feel as if I'm wasted
And I'm wastin' every day

This is the way you left me,
I'm not pretending.
No hope, no love, no glory,
No Happy Ending.
This is the way that we love,
Like it's forever.
Then live the rest of our life,
But not together.