Openly Gay Boxer Orlando Cruz Wins First Fight Since Coming Out


With a one-two punch boxer Orlando Cruz made history last night in Kissimmee, Florida, where the 31-year old pugilist beat out rival Jorge Pazos.

Cruz has been nervous since he came out two weeks ago that he would be booed or jeered as he stepped into the ring, but was pleasantly surprised to hear cheers and support.

"I was very happy that they respect me. That’s what I want — them to see me as a boxer, as an athlete and as a man in every sense of the word," he said last night. "That was my moment, my opportunity, my event… And I won." And this may be just the beginning.

From the Boston Herald:

Cruz is hoping this victory will get him a shot at a bigger match in the near future.

"This fight’s going to open my door for a world title fight," Cruz said. "That’s my dream, my mom’s dream, my community’s dream and my team’s."

And Cruz seems to be more at ease with his new position as a gay role model, no longer hiding who he is in one of the world’s most macho sports.

"I’m only one person," Cruz said. "I feel happy with where I am. I’m free. I’m more at peace."



  1. jamal49 says

    Orlando Cruz: “That’s what I want — them to see me . . . as a man in every sense of the word.”

    Jason? Rick?

    This one’s for you.

  2. Jeff says

    This guy gets my respect. I admire and appreciate his honesty, integrity, and strength. I hope he keeps on winning.

  3. TampaZeke says

    Strange that Outsports STILL doesn’t have this story up!

    I knew it last night and expected them to post it immediately. Towleroad seems to be the first gay blog to report it. Strange, since it was front page on and other news sites.

  4. jason says

    I love Orlando. I think he’s providing us with a normal role model for a change. I generally hate the expression “role model” but he’s terrific in that regard. What a refreshing change from the mincing queens imposed upon us by Hollywood and the entertainment industry in genera!!

    The supreme irony is that boxing has done it for us. Forget the other less “macho” sports like tennis, for instance, which have never provided us with a MALE role model. It’s the tough-as-nuts world of boxing that has shown up all the other sports, folks.

    What a turn for the books! And what an embarrassment it is for the other sports that have failed to provide us with a MALE beacon.

    Oh, and I just thought I’d mention that a lot of the men I’ve met on the gay scene aren’t even out to their family and friends. They’re the worst kind of gays around: closeted gays pretending to be liberated when they’re really not.

  5. Jeff says

    Jamal perhaps he has faced homophobic and/or derogatory comments and has been told he is less than a man or effeminate for being attracted to men. For him to want to prove himself a man by excelling in sports is what he feels he needs. Nobody can define for anyone else what masculinity and manhood mean.

  6. jason says

    I just thought I’d mention again that it’s fascinating that tennis has never provided us with a male beacon. How utterly fascinating. Tennis must be a horribly homophobic sport.

  7. UFFDA says

    Well TRISTRAM the rainbow theme does not suit JASON at all and I respect that. Gay men are far too closely tied to nauseous affectations when in fact most of us don’t fit the stereotypes.

    Oh, and good, very good for Orlando. It is wonderful to see him being and fulfilling his dream.

  8. jd1row says

    Just a style note: when talking about openly gay athletes, the phrase “beat out” can be confusing. On first read I was wondering if his opponent was also “out” and Cruz “beat” him. But congrats on his win!

  9. Robert In WeHo says

    This is extremely great! Boxing is about as macho as it gets. Like Muhammad Ali did for African American civil rights so to can Orlando Cruz do for furthering gay civil rights. Even the bigots have to respect his ability and achievement no matter how much they would prefer not to…

  10. Caliban says

    I *really* respect Orlando Cruz for coming out in what is probably THE most “macho” sport. That’s awesome. Interestingly, there are are also openly gay Mixed Martial Arts fighters, another violent and “macho” sport. Compared to these guys football players are coddled prima donas.

    But if you look at a video of Orlando Cruz talking about coming out he is NOT some grunting bruiser- he’s actually quite soft-spoken and DOES in some ways have stereotypical gay speech inflections. That is NOT a criticism, just an observation. He’s also obviously a tough little sonuvab*tch, a fighter in every sense of the word, so take your “mincing queens” crap and shove it. You’re imposing a stereotype on him as a boxer, when this soft-spoken little (5’4″) guy could easily hand you your self-proclaimed “masculine” @ss.

  11. says

    i don’t get get the rainbow aversions. if you’re scared of rainbows you’re a pretty pathetic wimp of a man. just sayin’.

    or is that you associate rainbows with “gay” and you don’t want to be identifiably gay? i’ve yet to hear anything resembling intelligence when it comes to gay men who are terrified of rainbows.

    when the sun comes out after a storm do you run in and hide lest anyone think that the rainbow in the sky is defining you?


    *elegant curtsy*

  12. public health debbie downer says

    boxing is sad, man. #1 most risky sport for early-onset dementia and all the associated health issues.

  13. QNetter says

    Caliban: actually, the soft-spokenness and higher-pitched voice is a pattern I’ve known in some Puerto Rican men who were 100% heterosexual.

  14. Bryce says

    It only takes one when it’s the right one. You are THE RIGHT ONE MR. CRUZ! Congrats on your big win. You are a hero and a champion! I’m certain you saved a few young lives today. A TRUE ROLE MODEL for what it means to be courageous, brave, strong, and humble.