Tag Archives: Justin Fashanu

I Clap for Orlando Cruz

Writing piece at the very end, if you like. There’s no positivity link this post, because the news it talks about is (in my opinion) positive enough itself. Depending on how into your sports you are, or whether you often trawl news sites, you might have heard in the past week about boxing’s first openly gay competitor: Orlando Cruz.

When it concerns boxers, topless pictures are a necessity.

I hadn’t heard of him before this, but I now have a respect for this man. Not just because he is being honest with himself, but also because of the storm of abuse, misunderstanding and insults he has willingly opened himself up to. Because I’m sure in a week or two or three we’ll have other boxers expressing their disgust, not wanting to fight with him, or his matches drying up. If it’s hard coming out in real life, it’s even harder to come out in the world of sports.

John Amaechi. Justin Fashanu. Ellen DeGeneres. Granted Ellen isn’t a sportsperson, but her career as an actress very nearly ended after she came out. It just wasn’t acceptable at that time to be a gay celebrity, and if she hadn’t been offered a talk show she wouldn’t have been where she is today. Justin Fashanu was an English footballer, and when he came out he was abandoned by his family, rejected by the profession and hounded by the media. Eventually, he killed himself. John Amaechi was British-born but played and lived in America; when he came out a lot of other basketballers reacted in shock and spoke out against him, expressing disgust at the idea of having played or changed with a gay man.

I don’t know what will happen to Cruz. There are now many gay and lesbian sportspeople who are out in the world, but there are thousands more who are not. And in a “manly” sport like boxing, football and basketball, the push for equal treatment for gay people still has a long way to go. I don’t know that change will happen in my generation. But I’d sure like to start it.

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This is from the aforementioned character Creator’s point of view.

Everything? You want to know it all?…Where to begin? Not from the beginning, I don’t think. I do not want to bore you with the details of things I regret, or memories collected whose origins I forget. Let’s skip the courtesy, shall we?

They first called me “Creator.” I do not know what that means; I only shape them, free them. Tear a thousand ideas from the fabric of my mind and shake them into existence. My actions are not so much done out of choice than a compelling necessity; an action which leads to a reaction. And then a chain, each answer a burst seeking to out-compete its predecessor. They are the result, and “Creator” is what they call me.

They also say that I know all (this is not a digression). Every name of every thing, person, animal, scent, sound. Every reaction and the single action that started it all. Why they live and die, and where they go when their lives are done. I do not understand why they believe I know these things. They say they were created in my image, I say in the image of an idea lingering in the recesses of my mind. If they do not have the answers, then why should I?

So they call me Creator. And once, I think I had a name that was my own, self-given. But time rots all those things that are not the strangeness of honey, like oranges and eyes (and memory) and time has taken mine. If I once knew what, who I was, I might have a better answer for my creations than just because. So I take on a name that is not my own, perhaps to feel that I am not alone or perhaps in redemption of that for which I cannot atone.

I am Creator, and this single fact is the starting point of everything.