Friday, January 17, 2014

Be brave, be yourself

Last week the former German soccer player Thomas Hitzlsperger had his coming out. He waited until his soccer career was over, because he was told to do so. This leaves me with the question, why some people still treat gays differently, most of all when it comes to sports men. I am sure there are football or soccer or basketball player out there, who were told to keep their mouth shut about the truth. Because there are fans who think these sports are "manly" and so there is no room for gays. But what gives them this impression? There are many men out there who have a completely normal life, and are definitely not less manly than straight guys. I guess these prejudices are caused by people who overdress, who love dresses, and lots of jewelry and sparkling pink stuff. There are a few of these man out there who just love that style. It's not wrong, it's just how they express themselves and show who they are. But exactly this might cause what most people think of gays: they are all like that, sparkling and girly.

Love will guide us.
pic by Kasia

When Hitzlsperger revealed last week that he is gay, lots of people couldn't believe it. They said that he always seemed like a "real man". Ouch! Luckily there were also lots of supportive guys out there, who said it's a good thing that he finally came out. Some even said it's brave. I wonder, why do gays even have to come out? Why can't they just live a normal life, everyone can see their partner and is okay with it. I mean, straight guys don't have to come out, so when gays have to, there it already starts that they are treated differently. This also leads that some even fake a relationship or even marriage with a woman (these women get paid for that!), because the men are afraid someone might figure it out, that they actually love men and that they might lose their job because of that.

I like that lots has changed in the past years and for some people, like actors, it mostly doesn't affect their career at all when they reveal being homosexual. Their fans love them for who they are. And I also like people who dare to be themselves. We live in a society where we learned how to fit in. We all wanna be individuals; but are we? We learned what is "normal", which just says what's average. So average is the definition of normality - at least for most people. We grew up, we were told how to behave. And who hasn't heard her parents not only once saying "Behave yourself", back when she was a kid?
And do you know one fairytale in which a man falls in love with another man? No, it's always about the Princess and her Prince. At school we try even harder to fit in a group, we don't wanna be left out. So we learn how to fit in even better. That is the main problem. We learn to do what other, mostly older people tell us to do, without questioning. The older people sure have more experience and therefore know what they say, but maybe a young person can come to a better solution because she is not stuck in the rut. She has a fresh, new point of view, and maybe that can help too.

Older people can be right, but so can young people. I think if someone really wanna be a free, independent and individual person, she has to be interested, not only in herself but also in others. Try to understand them, try to think how they think, and try to find a solution that everyone can be who (s)he is without being afraid.

Love has no limits, no one can live without love!
pic by D. Sharon Pruitt 

This whole story and discussion about Thomas Hitzlsperger lets me think of running a campaign and naming it "Be brave, be yourself". Most of all when it comes to sports, it's still a big deal. I read that even friends told Hitzlsperger to not come out during his career. They were afraid, and I guess so are many sports men and their friends, that the fans start to hate them, don't support them anymore. So what can be done, that even there gay men will be accepted and treated equally? That is what I wanna reach with this campaign and I'm happy for everyone joining the team, giving information or ideas to let this work.

I was actually shocked when I heard a man telling his story. He grew up in Latin America and there, back in the 80s, the people thought it's better to have a criminal than a gay son, so he could not even tell his own parents. Because not only the gays were treated differently but also the entire family. I am glad that these times have changed and like I said many people accept it - that's the way it should be. Well I don't know how it is in Latin America now and I know there are still countries that have a long way till they finally understand that love has no limits. Love is what keeps us alive, as long as we have love in our lives, we are actually living!

I hope that one day, everyone will respect others. We don't wanna be left out, because of who we are. No one wants someone else to tell them how or who to love. "Be brave, be yourself". You have to learn how to be yourself, and not how others to like you. Life is not about who fits in the best, it's the one who dares to be who (s)he is!!!
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