Football | I'm Gay | Robbie Rogers | Sports

Gay Footballer Robbie Rogers Talks About the Closet, Coming Out: VIDEO

Rogers

Footballer Robbie Rogers, who came out of the closet in February and announced his retirement from football, gives a lengthy interview to The Guardian's Donald McRae about how it felt to be a closeted footballer and what life was like for him then, and now.

RogersSaid Rogers:

"I was just fearful. I was very fearful how my team-mates were going to react. Was it going to change them? Even though I'd still be the same person would it change the way they acted towards me – when we were in the dressing room or the bus?"

In all professional sport, dressing room "banter", in that euphemistic phrase, can be callous. "Especially football," Rogers stresses. How did he react when homophobic quips were made – even though his team-mates were oblivious to his sexuality? "There were different emotions. Sometimes I would feel bad for them. Sometimes I would laugh because it was kinda funny. And, sometimes, it got malicious.

"That was when I would get this awful feeling in my stomach. I would turn my head and try to chat about other things. They often don't mean what they say. It's that pack mentality – they're trying to get a laugh, they're trying to be the top guy. But it's brutal. It's like high school again – on steroids."

He's asked if he could face down the hate and abuse shown from fans in the stadiums as an out player:

"Sure," Rogers says. "I've thought about that. I might be strong enough but I don't know if that's really what I want. I'd just want to be a footballer. I wouldn't want to deal with the circus. Are people coming to see you because you're gay? Would I want to do interviews every day, where people are asking: 'So you're taking showers with guys – how's that?'

"If you're playing well it will be reported as: 'The gay footballer is playing well.' And if you have a bad game it'll be: 'Aw, that gay dude … he's struggling because he's gay.' Fuck it. I don't want to mess with that."

Watch part of the interview on video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Read the full piece HERE.

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Comments

  1. I wish he'd continue playing, even if he transferred to MLS where he'd be the only out player in a U.S. league.

    But he seems to have put a lot of thought into it and has a good head on his shoulders, so kudos to him for following his own path.

    Posted by: ripper | Mar 29, 2013 9:22:35 AM


  2. Get thee to the motion pictures industry!

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | Mar 29, 2013 9:48:42 AM


  3. I applaud him for his honesty, I just wish he was still on the field.

    Posted by: Rees Cramer | Mar 29, 2013 9:56:30 AM


  4. Good for Rogers that he is happy with his life and his path.

    The interview is a little sobering. When he came out and left football, everyone was hoping the two weren't related. It seems like his fear of homophobia in soccer played a major role in him leaving. Even now, with all the support he received, he remains adamant that he couldn't have come out while still actively playing. (Like many closeted people, many of the negative consequences he imagined about coming out did not come to fruition. His family and teammates were all supportive. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies - I was exactly the same way I have to admit).

    He does leave a path open to returning but it seems he still fears there is a great homophobia problem that soccer needs to deal with.

    Posted by: KT | Mar 29, 2013 10:31:44 AM


  5. He is an insanely good looking (not really in this pic - but in others) masc acting 25 year old jock who is basically the wet dream of the entire gay community. Am I really supposed to feel sorry for him and his "inner conflict?" Virtually every gay man goes though the coming out issues he described, but only a tiny few look like he does - and that (given gay men's superficiality) will make him queen bee of any gay social scene he is in for the next 50 years.

    In conclusion - mm hmm, yes hunty I said it like it is - nah all you queens gon' shoot me down while take my louboutins and walk away. Plonk.

    Posted by: Nene | Mar 29, 2013 10:54:08 AM


  6. He wanted to play soccer. He didn't want to be queen bee of any gay social scene. And I didn't see him asking for pity. Empathy could be a useful skill to acquire, though.

    Posted by: Jay | Mar 29, 2013 11:00:59 AM


  7. Empathy for a pretty little straight acting jock bro who feels discriminated against? Nope. I will save it for people with real problems.

    Posted by: Nene | Mar 29, 2013 12:18:11 PM


  8. ISn't gay and soccer redundant?

    Posted by: Hagatha | Mar 29, 2013 12:49:25 PM


  9. Isn't Hagatha just another alias of resident Towleroad conservative troll David Hearne? The answer is yes.

    Posted by: MateoM | Mar 29, 2013 1:30:58 PM


  10. Mateom - this is no secret. I use my name and Hagatha depending upon which computer I am using.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Mar 29, 2013 2:23:48 PM


  11. And which computer I use depends entirely on which room in my house I'm hiding in. Because my family whom I live with hates gay people, including myself. That's why I always carry lots of guns.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 29, 2013 2:31:56 PM


  12. He actually comes across a little weak and cowardly. Like someone mentioned, he's a good looking, masculine guy playing a pretty intense sport..and he can't "be bothered" fielding the tough questions???...so you get a little ribbing? big deal. You have been so blessed in many ways, yet you can't bear any responsibility to help others. Ugh, another entitled queen who wants everyone to fall all over him because he's pretty...yet when the going gets tough, he can't take the heat. Please, take your pretty little life and move on already. This is why I have such respect for the gay boxer Orlando Cruz. Now, that's a FIGHTER!! This kid, not so much. bye bye, "sweet thing".

    Posted by: Whatever | Mar 29, 2013 3:48:49 PM


  13. he sounds paranoid and a control queen...you should have given your teammates the right to think for themselves.....sad...

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Mar 29, 2013 3:57:26 PM


  14. Probably shopping a book deal already....

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Mar 29, 2013 3:59:41 PM


  15. All you guys are incorrect about his reasons. He also had some pretty bad injuries.

    So, there is nothing wrong with a desire to move on, and not deal with it anymore.

    It is a rather short interview about a complex topic.

    Posted by: Jeff | Mar 29, 2013 7:56:08 PM


  16. I don't blame him, the soccer world is not ready, and any misstep would be attributed to his being gay.

    Posted by: ty | Mar 29, 2013 10:02:25 PM


  17. Guys google Gareth Thomas...now that's a hard core gay athlete! Gareth is tough as cast iron, carbon fiber reinforced titanium nails. He played rugby - didn't come out though till later (he's a little older too - 2013 is a lot different than 1998).

    Btw to the poster "whatever" - I love you - thank you for understanding my point. The last time I posted something like that, people went nuts on me.

    I didn't get to live my dream - or my second dream, or my third one... and I don't look that hot either (and the power of attractiveness in both gay and straight worlds is massive as the billion dollar cosmetic and plastic surgery industry can attest).

    Why do we look up to athletes and cross our fingers that maybe one will be gay? Who cares? Personally, I look up to to guys that designed the ipod, created HIV meds (or fought for their creation) or wrote the code driving google search...athletes are put on way too high of a pedestal because...why again?

    Posted by: Nene | Mar 30, 2013 4:58:11 AM


  18. At the risk of being deemed superficial, ME? Damn, he is one fine looking man.

    Posted by: andrew | Mar 30, 2013 4:57:16 PM


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