Dean Knight, writing for the Herald, makes what I would consider a fairly uncontentious point: yes, it would be lovely if people’s sexual orientations didn’t matter and no one cared, but the fact is our society still does treat heterosexuality as normal and everything else as aberrant, and people do care. His case in point is the All Blacks. Sure, you can argue that the sexuality of any individual All Black shouldn’t matter, but then they’d have to stop doing underwear commercials and selling their wedding pictures to the Woman’s Weekly, and that would probably be the killing blow to the New Zealand economy.
Oh, he also notes rugby culture in general might be just a tad homophobic.
Cue the outrage in the comments, which I do not recommend reading unless you’re feeling particularly in need of eye-rolling exercise or bitter cackling. It’s almost like the Herald’s online commenters didn’t actually read the piece, the way so many jump in to say “but it shouldn’t matter if an All Black is gay!”
Yes, my dears, but don’t you dare sit there acting like it doesn’t.
That’s just ironic. It’s the ones who start in on the blatant (oh but it’s just a FACT, you know) homophobia who will rob you of valuable warm feelings towards your fellow New Zealanders.
The big upside is that Knight makes some really key points about how rugby institutions have to be open-minded and accommodating for players who don’t fit the hetero blokey mold, and gives examples of how athletes from other codes have navigated playing-manly-sport-while-gay. And he got published in the NZ Herald while doing so.
Would be nice if the Herald showed the most basic modicum of commonsense comment moderation though.
The beautiful irony of this entire post, though, is the hat-tip I must now give. See, I don’t really read the Herald at all (though if I want online NZ news, it is marginally better than Stuff, though that’s not difficult.)
So I would never have seen this article were it not for the efforts of men’s defender and friend of Ideologically Impure, kiwi_prometheus. Had k_p not been so offended by the notion of a gay All Black that he just had to bring it up at The Standard, so outraged, so flabberghasted that anyone could question the tumescent, masculine heterosexuality of the All Blacks … well, this post couldn’t have happened without him.