Coming out to rugby team: good idea or no?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 30, 2011 4:02 PM GMT
    Need some advice guys. I'm out to my family and most of my friends back home, but ever since moving abroad, I never felt the need to come out to anyone... until recently.

    Situation 1: I just moved in to a new apartment with my British rugby team mate. Ever since I moved in he (and sometimes his girlfriend) seem determined to get me laid. He's always asking me "Why don't you just bang all these chinese chicks?" a question I frantically dodge with ambiguous statements. I don't know how much longer I can hold out like this. I'm considering just telling him, "Look, I'm not in to chicks" except for...

    Situation 2: of the players on the team is a former soldier in the Ugandan army. He is one of my good friends but occasionally makes homophobic remarks. I am pretty sure it would create problems/tension with in the team if he found out I was gay. On top of this...

    Situation 3: ...his girlfriend has a very pretty friend who is the object of desire of almost the entire team. She selected me to make advances on one night at a club and, partially due to drunkenness, partially due to the whole team watching and urging me to go for it, I made out with her. She is now totally infatuated with me and the team is expecting stories of how great the sex is with her, details, etc. while I have been trying to avoid her like the plague, she inevitably shows up at our rugby games and parties with her friend, creating an awkward/stressful situation for me.

    I really don't want to make it awkward in the team or risk being alienated from them as the rugby team is the only family I have over here.

    Any advice greatly appreciated, esp. from rugby players, sub-saharan African soldiers and those people who have experience coming out to the aforementioned groups. Thanks.

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    Jun 02, 2011 2:39 PM GMT
    thanks for all your help guys, I was forced to have sex with the girl and now she's pregnant... just kidding. But seriously, any advice would be appreciated, I don't really have anyone to talk to about this.
  • bad_wolf

    Posts: 1002

    Jun 02, 2011 2:42 PM GMT
    I wouldn't think it was wise, in fact it might have been better to be honest with your friend before you moved in with him considering there's a chance you might want to ask a guy over, you were going to have to explain that eventually.

    But then you didn't move in with the whole rugby team, just this one friend, maybe keep it between you two and hope he's a decent enough person to respect your wishes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2011 2:43 PM GMT
    Come out. The worst that can happen is you get your ass kicked by a bunch of hot jocks, which means they enjoy touching you in a very aggressive way. icon_biggrin.gif
  • pav1

    Posts: 68

    Jun 02, 2011 2:44 PM GMT
    I am out to everyone, even at work. I know the world is getting better but only you know if it feels right to come out to your team.
    I know I can never live that lie again and I have never regreted telling the truth to everyone.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Jun 02, 2011 2:44 PM GMT
    Wish I had advice...sounds like a shitty situation, but unfortunately I have no valid experience which would make my advice in any way applicable. :-(

    Sorry. Keep your chin up, with all of the RJrs out there, someone will give you an opinion (educated or not)!
  • 1HotBodMan

    Posts: 16

    Jun 02, 2011 2:47 PM GMT
    It's up to you. You have to weigh both options in your mind. Are you willing to lose everything with your teammates and with this girl to be yourself? Many gay guys say just be yourself and whoever doesn't except you isn't really your friend. That's true to a degree but at the same time you have to do what's best for you and that might be not coming out to them. I will have to say that you making out with the girl complicates things. It would have been best if you stopped everything right there by coming out to them before that happened. I'm here for you if you want to talk more. Feel free to leave me a message on here too if you need.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2011 2:52 PM GMT
    I can understand how frustrating it must be to have fellow team mates push girls on you. I had a friend who was a rugby player and he went through the same thing. It turned out after he told a fellow team mate, it was not a big deal really. Although, my friend was determined to push harder and get more bruises cuts and stuff just to prove he was just like the team mates. Eventually, the team found out and most was okay about it even some of his close team mates, but there were a few that was jerks about it. (of course keep in mind this is a college american rugby team he was on).

    Hope it works out for you.
  • Hothouse

    Posts: 2204

    Jun 02, 2011 3:06 PM GMT
    I feel for you man, this is not an easy situation, and there is no easy answer.
    Whatever happens to us in life is a consequence of the decisions we make, so you have to weigh the pros and cons of keeping your sexuality quiet or opening up about it. Take your time, think it through, don't make a quick decision.
    There are a lot of guys that say we should all be out and proud, but unfortuantely there is still a lot of cultural stigma around being gay - sure - if every gay man and woman would come out and live life openly things might change, but the truth is, it's a very personal decision to open up about a very personal matter and no one should feel forced to do so.
    I'm sure if you do come out, there may be some difficulty and uncomfortable situations for a while, but if you are a decent and honest man, they'll get over it, it's their problem anyway, if they "don't like" gay people.
    It also may mean that the guys on the team may alienate you and it would effect the team's ability to compete as a team - I would hope that they could look past personal issues and compete as a unit.
    If you don't come out, then just be as honest as you can with people without telling them everything - they don't need to know - it's your business how much they know about you. When they try to fix you up with girls or suggest you hook up with them, then tell them you appreciate their intentions but you're not interested and can handle that aspect of your life your way. Just leave it at that, no need to explain further. If a girl shows interest, again, be honest - say thanks, but you're not interested. She may be a bit hurt or confused, but she'll deal with it.
    It's amazing to me how many straight people don't have a clue, seems the last thing they think is someone they know might be gay - even with obvious signs.
    Maybe in time you'll find someone that you feel comfortable enough with to come out to them - at least then you'd have an ally in your corner in the event you do decide to come out to the team.
    Good luck, and there are a lot of guys here on your side, even though that doesn't help much when you're so far away.
    I know you'll find the way to do what's best for you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2011 3:12 PM GMT
    Well then, I guess this would be a test at how successful Ben Cohen's Stand Up message is. Bring up his name and message at the next meet. Like, "what do you guys think of Ben Cohen's anti-homophobia tour?"
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2011 3:15 PM GMT
    Just don't come out to either of the girls. They (girls) usually have a different concept of "private", "personal", and "in confidence". Just saying.
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Jun 02, 2011 3:19 PM GMT
    I am an advocate of honesty. I don't believe in an affirmative obligation to come out to everyone you meet, but it sounds like you're in situations where in being honest you'll just sort of come out. I wouldn't make a big deal of it or anything, just let them know next time they try to set you up with some Chinese vagina.

    Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2011 3:19 PM GMT
    I have found that the people who care won't matter, and the people who matter won't care.

    At the end of the day I came out to a friend who would say homophobic comments and he didnt hate gay people, he just called straight people fag. I actually found that the ones who were the least supportive were the straight girls, my guy friends were the most.
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Jun 02, 2011 3:21 PM GMT
    I came out to my boat club and went from showering and changing with all the guys, going go the bar with everyone etc to not. To showering on my own because all the guys wouldnt even get changed in the same room as me.
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Jun 02, 2011 3:26 PM GMT
    Rowing_Ant saidI came out to my boat club and went from showering and changing with all the guys, going go the bar with everyone etc to not. To showering on my own because all the guys wouldnt even get changed in the same room as me.

    Sorry to hear that. It's always unfortunate when the results are bad but at least you don't have to worry about what's the next lie you have to dial up.
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    Jun 02, 2011 3:38 PM GMT
    Let me circle back to my buddies in the rebel army of the Central African Republic and I'll get right back to you...

    But seriously - it sounds like a stingy situation, especially as you're rooming with a teammate. Also, you're not from the UK right? If you have doubts about what would happen to your position on the team if you came out and how your position on the team might affect your ability to stay in the UK, you might wanna think twice.

    In any case I'd make sure you have the support of the British part of the team before confronting the Ugandan.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2011 3:42 PM GMT
    I thought people in the UK are much more tolerant since Gareth Thomas came out..I know that this is definitely hard for you to decide - it's like re-coming out once again only to your new friends but remember it's definitely a big step and it needs more than courage - there must be trust and acceptance involved especially in a team, so don't let anyone pressure you or put pressure on yourself. I'm sure there's always another way to deal with the girls without telling anyone that you're not into them.icon_biggrin.gif Just tell them you have someone back home or something..
    Honestly, I'm way too inexperienced to give anyone here advice but i know what matters the most is the time when you feel comfortable,and ready to tell your rugby mates.Hang in there buddy!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2011 3:45 PM GMT
    tell them you stand with Ben Cohen and isnĀ“t Gareth hot icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2011 3:50 PM GMT
    Gareth Thomas of the Welsh Rugby team came out and most of the players were totally behind his decision.

    You need to tell your mate. I've been through the pretending phase. Its awful and long term it won't do you any good.
  • justinlee86

    Posts: 501

    Jun 02, 2011 3:54 PM GMT
    I actually came out to my University Rugby team...and no one really cared. To them I was still a tough SOB and a brother on the team. They ended up loving it because I was a girl magnet!!

  • madhatter131

    Posts: 38

    Jun 02, 2011 4:23 PM GMT
    Tough spot.

    You can test the waters, talk about a friend back home and make sure your roommate knows he is gay. See how he reacts to that. If it is positive, tell him about yourself.

    As for your Ugandan teammate, ....if you are better player than he is, your team will side with you !! Kidding. But in seriousness, test the waters with your roommate. If he is cool with it (and he should be !! or he may already know), talk to him about how to tell everyone else.

    ...let us know how it goes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2011 4:43 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the advice guys... I'll think all this over and let you know when I come up with a solution and take action!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2011 4:50 PM GMT
    I'll try not to repeat what's been said here. It sounds like you're to the point of accepting fully who you are and figuring those who have an issue with it, have their own issues. Most of us that have come out later found that most do not have issues with it, those who do are not a major part of our lives. Working (or playing rugby) with those who have issues means being civil when near them, playing the game and not including them in your social life. Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2011 5:01 PM GMT
    for the most part, i am out..have been since 16. in certain situations, i am not. its not that i have some secret shame or some reality im more masculine and tougher or whatever it is that people dont think gay guys are than most of the guys around me..its do i want the fact that im gay to define me. cuz thats what happens..if yer the only gay guy its a novelty. even if people are cool with it. im not ok with that. being gay is a small part of my identity. im a whole lot of other stuff i chose to be more than something i was born with. so if yer there to play a yer sport. if you want everyone up in yer business or you feel like being gay is that important to you and it does to a certain extent define you..tell people. i advise against it. and ive been in a similar but different situation..the people who you trust and have been a solid friend to..they wont care. if anyone else has something against you..jealousy or they dont like you for whatever reason..theyll use it against you. you gotta be stronger and smarter and have thicker skin then everyone else around you either way. i mean not to be all doom and gloom but these shitty moments will present themselves...ive had my fair much stronger because of it. good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2011 5:09 PM GMT
    Coming from a Collegiate Rugby player, I would first establish *insert name* is, far as personality and skill in the game. Like you said in your profile, when you came out to your family and friends and told them, it was like things never changed and thats how it should be. I feel that the team wouldn't care once they figure out who you are. Once that has happen tell in order of hierarchy, trust me best idea, because if your good friends with the captain and he accepts the fact then everyone else will as well because it's a team game. I am not sure how rugby is over seas, but in the states thats how it works.

    So, good luck buddy