June 07, 2005

TV: Queer Eye and the Red Sox

Tonight's new episode of Queer Eye (note the officially shortened new name of the show; it's not just for the Straight Guy anymore, apparently) features five members of the Boston Red Sox as the makeover subjects. This is something of a milestone, I think, for American professional athletes to associate themselves so visibly with gay culture.

Sure, there've been "gay nights" at a lot of different stadiums, and I think a few gay choruses have even been invited to sing the National Anthem. Those are good things, and the teams that have done that are to be commended.

But the very issue of homosexuality in sports still makes people uncomfortable. Team athletes don't come out of the closet until after they've retired, and everyone gets all squicky about the thought that there might be gay people sharing their locker rooms and showers.

So I think it's a big deal for individual athletes to take a gay-friendly stand. Kudos to Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, Doug Mirabelli, Jason Varitek, and Tim Wakefield for doing the show, and to the Red Sox for encouraging the idea.

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