New generation of English fans would accept gay players

Stumble across an article about English fans of soccer/football would accept gay players

LONDON (Reuters) — A new generation of British soccer fans would be tolerant about professional footballers admitting they were homosexual, according to an online survey conducted by Staffordshire University in England.

The survey of 2,000 supporters (www.topfan.co.uk) found that only seven percent believed that soccer had no place for homosexuals.

It was conducted by culture, media and sport professor Ellis Cashmore and senior sociology lecturer Jamie Cleland.

“The big surprise was that we got what I suppose you’d call a counter-intuitive response and that was that 93 percent said they felt there was no place for homophobia in football and it should be stomped out and they felt that it brought shame on football,” Cashmore told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“There was a call for greater transparency. A lot of people said they would prefer it if gay footballers came out because they don’t think they would have to put up with that much abuse.”

Only one professional footballer, England international Justin Fashanu, has revealed he was homosexual during his career. Fashanu committed suicide in 1998 at the age of 37.

Players in other sports have been equally reticent. Former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas revealed in a newspaper last year that he was gay, saying: “It’s pretty tough for me being the only international rugby player prepared to break the taboo.”

Thomas’s candor prompted sympathy from British former National Basketball Association (NBA) player John Amaechi, who announced he was gay after retiring in 2007, plus a warning that homophobia was still present in sport.

Former England rugby coach Clive Woodward was more positive, saying he expected the sport to take Thomas’s announcement in its stride, while Welsh media reported recently that Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke was considering portraying Thomas in a film.

HEAVY BURDEN

“The question remains when will a gay soccer player come out?,” Cashmore said.

“The fans themselves are of the opinion that, yes we know there are gay players and when we watch football every week we know we are watching gay players but actually it doesn’t matter to us.”

Cashmore said homophobia now was equivalent to the racism which blighted British soccer during the 1970s and 80s.

“Football fans who have for long been characterised as Neanderthal types, the knuckle-dragging kind of macho type who believe homosexuality is still taboo; actually they have changed as well,” he said.

“We have a new generation of football fans — managers, coaches, players themselves, I class them all as fans in some way.

“They don’t actually care very much about a person’s sexual orientation. But of course the players are living with a legacy and the legacy has become a heavy burden for football.

“It’s going to make it extremely difficult for the first living footballer to come out. For a footballer to come out after his career is over, in a sense that is the path of least resistance.

“It’s still enormously difficult but not as difficult as they think.”

source

It’s a good sign towards kicking homophobia out of football, but I still think that it’d take years for a gay player to come out of the closet, even though fans in England can accept gay players, but it doesn’t mean that fans outside of England, especially in countries where gay is not only unaccepted, but also considered as a crime, can  accept gay player, I’m sure the clubs don’t want to lose their fans all over the world, it’s a depressing thought, but it’s true.

Anyway, here’s another interesting picture of football I found 🙂

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Gay Soccer Player?

After reading an article on how Germany’s squad on 2010 World Cup was a bunch of gays, and then I came across a translated article on LJ on gay soccer player in Bundesliga, it was an interesting article.

“A coming out would be my death“

It’s widely believed that gay football professionals don’t exist. But statistically at least one out of eleven Bundesliga players should be gay. RUND knows three gay professionals, but names can’t and shouldn’t be named in this story – the climate in football is still that homophobic that the consequences for these players would be devastating

Enver* gave up. The homosexual football professional who told RUND about his hidden and angst-filled life in Germany two years ago isn’t playing in the Bundesliga anymore. Far too infrequently Enver had been able to show his immense football skills, always feeling hounded and being torn between the desire to live his homosexuality but also to not be a disgrace to his club. Depressed, he left the country that made him wealthy but never gave him the feeling of being able to live the way he wanted to: as a man who loves men. Because this is still the biggest possible taboo in homophobic football, where men and women starting together in a team seems more realistic than an out gay player being accepted in a professional team.

Fates like Enver’s are no exception in German football, although according to the official lifestyle and mindset no gays can exist in the tough men’s sport. Or are allowed to exist – a popular theory is that gay footballers quit of their own choice because they can’t feel comfortable in a world where ‘faggots’ can’t exist. A misapprehension as for some the love for football is greater than the insecurity about the ability to cope with the own sexual orientation that is generally frowned upon.

RUND knows three homosexual players from the first and second Bundesliga. But names couldn’t and shouldn’t be named here. As long as ‘faggots’ are talked about with such hate and scorn, the danger is too great when someone gets outed publicly against his own will. So they behave as inconspicuous as the associations, most clubs and footballers want them to: just as if they don’t exist. For years, homosexual football professionals have sought advice from a sports psychologist. Players who belong without a doubt to the best that there are in Germany are amongst them, too. “I know from my counselling that these players see for themselves the only choice in leading a double life, hiding their homosexuality from the trainer, the own team and the management. This is a huge psychosocial burden and this can also be the reason why someone approaches me,” the psychologist clarifies.

And in 43 years of Bundesliga no heterosexual team mate had to shower with their ass to the wall in fear of an unwanted penetration, which is one of the most popular clichés. As the cultural studies academic Tanja Eggeling says, “All imaginable fears of gays get mobilized there and thus forbid it to confront the topic.” The picture of the sexually horny gay, always ready to feel up a team mate in the spacious functional rooms of the stadiums is a bitter parody of the real life. While a coming out is acknowledged casually in some society circles and gay politicians or TV stars can arrive at parties with their life partners without any askance looks, gay footballers live in secret.

“Of course I feel shite. Even my wife doesn’t know anything about it,” a despairing second-league professional tries to describe his absurd life style. Officially, he’s married, but lives in a steady relationship with a school friend since his youth. “But what can I do? An outing would be my death.” The first league professional who is also in a long-lasting relationship is fed up with the fact that a girlfriend who is in the know accompanies him to team celebrations and Christmas parties to seem “normal”. “The white lies and the secrecy are incredibly encumbering.” Fake marriages which can also include children are a means to maintain the model of a potent and heterosexual football professional. The sports psychologist knows that it is rare for a player to play on his highest level under these circumstances. “It’s a continuous problem where the focus is only on managing this lifestyle more or less well. These are also no individual cases, there are about as many players as shown in the statistics of the total population.” The ratio of homosexuals should be more than ten per cent.

Frightened and anonymous, gay professionals often frequent dating websites and gay chats on the internet where penis lengths, sexual role preferences and favourite fetishes are displayed in dozens. These virtual discounters of sexual desires and special preferences are “not really a comfortable place”, as a gay Bundesliga professional explains, “but it’s the only possibility for me to get to know other men anonymously and perhaps to meet them, too.” In doing so, he tries to “interrogate” his chat partner if he’s interested in football and could recognize him. But a residual risk is still there: “I’m jeopardizing my career every moment.”

Tatjana Eggeling, who is habilitating on “Homosexuality in sports”, noticed a paradoxical practice concerning this topic especially in the last two years: Homosexuality of footballers has developed into one of the most popular media topics, but despite that the daily homophobia hasn’t decreased. “A increased public cognition of the topic can be a hope for a positive effect. When you start to talk about something, you can expect changes, too.” But for the academic it is critical that it is the yellow press that is lusting after an outing of a professional. “The voyeuristic interest is huge. They’ll hound the first who outs himself for weeks. The price for a coming out would probably be too high, I wouldn’t recommend any player to do it.” On the other hand, Eggeling knows about the internal struggles and conflicts of many players. “To do something that you are very good at and also skilled in, but by doing so having to hide a central part of your personality produces an enormous pressure to perform.”

And the rumour mill is running at top speed, every gay community names its icons regardless of their actual sexual orientation. Many a long-time and proven heterosexual Bundesliga player gets the shock of his life when he learns that he’s perceived as a hundred per cent gay amongst gay-lesbian fan clubs, journalists and even colleagues. “If my name even gets only hinted at in this context, I’ll exhaust any legal means available,” one such player declares. This climate of speculation has already spread to possible framing: A big yellow press tabloid offered the Berlin journalist and book author Axel Schock even twice a formidable sum if he’d out a professional whom he knew to be gay. “They knew his name, too,” Schock says, “they just didn’t want to get their hands dirty because this would have meant the player’s definite career end. I’m convinced that such players are forced to cooperate with the media.” This is also what one of the players confirms: “There are journalists who know that I’m gay, but keep mum. In exchange for that, though, they expect that I provide information – regularly.”

A dodgy situation where you can’t hope for help from team mates, the club’s directors or the association. At least the former Bundesliga player Tanja Walther was in charge of a workshop about homophobia at the anti-racism conference of the UEFA which took place in Barcelona last February, which would still have been unthinkable some years ago. “Homophobia and sexism are still as much a part of football as the offside rule,” is one of her findings. At least the UEFA is the only association that has realized that to broach and prevent the issue of homophobia in the stadiums is also important for customer loyalty strategy, as homosexuals have also discovered football and are regarded as a potential clientele that could fill the stadiums.

The world association FIFA is still avoiding the topic: a strict ban got imposed on men kissing on the pitch. “The reasoning of the FIFA is absurd,” thunders Franco Grillini, representative of the left-wing Ulivo union in the Italian parliament and president of the national gay movement Arcigay. “They said it was because of STDs, but everyone knows that you can’t transmit these through kissing.” By doing so, the world association adds fuel to the fear of gays, Grillini says. “Football just happens to be the big triumph of the masculinity cult, the highest expression of macho behaviour.”

Measures against homophobia also aren’t on the priority list of the German Football Association (DFB). DFB president Theo Zwanziger who is now addressing the topic racism openly whenever it comes up, doesn’t want to say anything about the discrimination of minorities in football in general. The DFB and the DFL have created a task force to fight against violence, xenophobia and racism, but the homophobic outgrowths get ignored. It took six years until the DFB implemented the anti-racism paragraph proposed by the union of active football fans (Baff) in 1994. In Frankfurt, they haven’t responded to the homophobia catalogue proposed in 2002 yet. “The DFB can’t afford to plead ignorance about racism anymore, also because of image reasons,” Gerd Dembowski, fan activist and football author, reckons. “But homophobia, you can still close the eyes to. It’s even below racism, women and handicapped people in the hierarchy of discriminations.”

At the same time, the situation in the German stadiums is alarming, as Baff-representative Martin Endemann knows from weekly experience: “There’s just no consciousness about homophobia. A lot of choreographies are about the opponent being gay. Whole parts of stadiums spread homophobic contents – if they were racist, there’d be a huge uproar. If the DFB would include homophobia in its penalty catalogue, they’d have to close almost every Bundesliga stadium and end every second match prematurely.” Even the few gay-lesbian fan clubs like the Hertha Junxx in Berlin, the Rainbow-Borussen in Dortmund or the Stuttgart Junxx weren’t able to exert a lasting influence on the gay-hostile atmosphere in the Bundesliga stadiums.

The British football association, which has already been a paragon for other associations with its measures against racism in British stadiums, is also making inroads concerning homophobia. Since 2001, the articles say that the association takes disciplinary action against discrimination because of sexual orientation. Since then, rowdies yelling homophobic slurs have gotten expelled frequently from football stadiums. Two Norwich City fans even had to go to jail for a short time and got sentenced to a parole for two years subsequently.

On club level, Manchester City has started to break up the gay taboo. The club undersigned a Charta that turns it into a “gay friendly” club. In exchange for that, City pays a six-figure sum to Stonewall, the mighty organisation registered in London that defends the rights of gays and lesbians in Great Britain. At Manchester City, gays shall now be equal. Gay personnel gets hired, the gay scene of the city invited into the stadium. That’s still the big exception in England: just a short time ago, the BBC asked all 20 coaches of the Premier League three questions about the topic homosexuality – no one answered, not even Stuart Pearce, the Manchester City coach.

The suspicion that gay professionals could exist on the pitch is still regarded as a catastrophe in the mind of British fans. But in the case of Justin Fashanu it was even a Premier League professional who outed himself publicly in 1990. Eight years later, Fashanu hanged himself in a London garage. “To be gay and a person of the public life is harsh,” he wrote in his suicide note. ”If someone’d out himself in this day, he wouldn’t have the best life,” national player Robert Huth from the FC Middlesborough paraphrases the unchanged homophobic atmosphere, “he couldn’t enter the stadium as unconcerned as before. Even the opponents would provoke him because of it.”

In the Italian Serie A homosexuality is still regarded as an outrageous taboo. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Rumours about the supposed homosexuality of football stars are afloat again and again. If they get overboard, the clubs intervene. Ambitious top models and showgirls are called for then. The stars let themselves be photographed with the starlets, marriages get arranged where children are included in the salary, too. Some model agencies are said to have specialised in this market segment. ”We know that some stars of Italian football are gay and are forced to hide it,” Arcigay president Franco Grillini says, “players even get forced by their clubs to marry. The players are afraid that their career could stop abruptly.”

Even Sandro Mazzola, who was a national player with Inter Mailand in the 60ies and 70ies, knows about the existence of homosexual players: “Of course I met gay professionals. One of them even became a famous trainer. It was known that he was gay and no one was disturbed by it.” And even the hardest and most humourless Italian terrier, national player Gennaro Gattuso, agrees with Mazzola: “There are two or three gays in 5,000 players. But that isn’t because football is that manly. I know gays who give more than everything on the pitch.”

The Brazilian former national player Marcos Vampeta, who had a short intermezzo at Inter Mailand and is now playing with the Brazilian first league club Goiás EC, outed himself a short time ago, just like his countryman Túlio Maravilha, who’s one of the best forwards of the Brazilian league with 500 goals. Vampeta had often frequented the respective scene bars in the Milan San Siro quarter. The gay scene is also active especially in the neighbourhood of the Meazza stadium where many Milan players live. Some professionals also start the rumours by their own doing: Mark Iuliano, former defender of Juventus Turin, posed naked for a gay magazine. Matteo Sereni, goalie of the second league club FBC Treviso, did the same. And world champion Alberto Gilardino of the AC Mailand who got nominated as a sex symbol by the national gay organisation, was very happy about this honour, combined with the declaration that he would love to lobby for campaigns against the discrimination of minorities: “Everyone should be the way he wants without being excluded because of it.”

In other countries the topic is approached more tolerantly, too: in France Vikash Dhorasoo, national player of Paris Saint-Germain, took over patronage of the gay football club Paris Foot Gay (see box on page 23). In Sweden, the third league player Peter Mattias Jansson outed himself three years ago already. And in the Netherlands, there even were three openly gay referees: Ignace van Swieten, John Blankenstein and Jacques D’Ancona. The last one is currently practising as referee observer and referee trainer with the Dutch football organisation. “I know some gay Dutch professionals, even in the national squad,” the recently deceased UEFA referee Blankenstein told the RUND magazine in one of his last interviews, “they live with wife and children and betray the whole world and, most importantly, themselves. If the first one would out himself and withstand the slurs, then that would initiate a chain reaction: one by one, they’d do the same. And then even the most ignorant would realize that there are gays in football.”

In German women’s football, it’s still an open secret that same-sex relationships are rather the rule than the exception. Many German national players live with a partner which goes without saying amongst team mates, as told by a player. “Everyone knows who’s accompanying whom to the Christmas party of the club and that it’s the girlfriend,” a lesbian Bundesliga player tells RUND, “the automatic perception of a female footballer as a lesbian has lost some of its potency. Because of the successes of the national team women’s football has turned into an accepted sport.” The fear to be the first lesbian player in the public’s eye and to be regarded as the token lesbian for years is still prevalent amongst the players, though. Some fear repercussions for their career in sports or that sponsors could cancel the private advertising contracts. “The stress would be too huge,” a player says. The DFB could also cause stress, as former Bundesliga player Tanja Walther believes: “There are unwritten laws since the mid-90ies which probably are still operating: if you out yourself, you lose your steady place in the national team.”

The voice cracks, the man is indignant: “There’s no homosexuality here. And you can be absolutely sure of this: no one fucks around as much as our players.” The spokesperson was answering a RUND inquiry by phone: All 36 Bundesliga clubs were written in to if they planned to stand up against the homophobic climate in the stadiums – only eight clubs reacted. But apart from the token gay and president of the FC St. Pauli, Corny Littmann, who generates a lot of media attention, two other officials from the management of German professional clubs are also known to RUND who don’t want to speak out on their homosexuality. A fact that Tanja Eggeling can’t understand: “What would happen, anyway? They could out themselves much easier from their position of power than a professional and could thus contribute to a change in perceptions. Their existences wouldn’t be endangered in the same extent as it would be with players.”

The discrimination of homosexuals will stay a part of football in the long run as long as homophobia gets hushed up in the associations, in the clubs and amongst the players. Only Michael Preetz, former national player and head of the licence players’ department of Hertha BSC Berlin, allows himself to be cited in that context: “Homosexuals exist in every social class and in sports, too. I’m against any form of discrimination, including homophobia.” Most German professional clubs have included the anti racism paragraph in their articles, but the one against sexual discrimination is found only with very few. Even designated social and liberal minded national players decline any comment on homophobia. No one knows anything and doesn’t want to know about anything. “If heterosexual players would say that gays are no problem for them, that would be important,” Tanja Walther believes, “but this shows that the atmosphere can’t be right. This way, nothing will change at all.” (* Names changed by the editorial department)

Box on page 23:

First step on a long way

Vikash Dhorasoo, heterosexual player of the first league club Paris Saint-Germain, sponsors the gay football club PFG. A strong engagement against homophobia, which is still a big exception in football

It sounds harsh, but Vikash Dhorasoo had gotten used to the discriminations early on. He grew up in Caucriville, a workers’ quarter of Le Havre with 25,000 inhabitants. If he didn’t get “hunted by skins”, entering discotheques was forbidden to the Frenchman of Indian descendant. “And that isn’t even counting unexpected police controls,” as the national player of Paris Saint-Germain recounts, “so I always felt close to people who rebel, who defend their agenda. And thus it’s just natural that I want to be in contact with minorities.” So, sponsoring the Paris Foot Gay (PFG), the club that was founded in December 2003 and where homosexuals, bisexuals and heterosexuals play football together, was an obvious choice for Dhorasoo, “without having to deliberate a lot about it.” Today the 33-year-old is patron of the PFG, where Jews, Arabs, blacks, whites, merchants, clerks, students and warehousemen aged 19 to 42 years play. “The diversity helps us,” says Brahim Nait-Balk, one of the two coaches, “there’s nothing worse for a gay than feeling isolated.”

The PFG is also starting its own initiatives like the set-up of a research institute about the topic homophobia in football or regular visits to schools to sensitize the youth. From time to time, these actions evoke hostilities: “Last month in Villepinte, the teachers were shocked by the vehemence of the questions,” PFG co-founder Pascal Brethes says, who has heard slurs from pupils, too, which isn’t uncommon. “But last year a boy had his coming-out in front of all his classmates and thanked us. In such cases, you’re happy that you exist.”

Vikash Dhorasoo has often asked himself if the coming-out of a professional “would be worth the trouble if by doing so, he’d get shunted and lose everything,” as the vice world champion told RUND. “I don’t know. There are just many people who have difficulties to accept the fact that some are different.” If you ask him about the possible repercussions of his sponsorship, especially the inavoidable sarcasm of outsiders, the former player of Milan and Lyon admits that he never thought about it. “That Vikash gets involved is a very strong message to homosexual players who are in hiding, to the players and the football world in general,” Pascal Brethes believes. If more would do the same, the wish of the PFG founders could come true one day: “That your guy can come into your locker room and hug you, no matter if you’re in the professional or amateur league. But until that’ll happen, it’s still a long way to go.”

Box on page 25:

”Yikes, now we’re playing against gays”

Ralf Schmidt is midfielder and co-founder of the Streetboys, who are taking part in the official leagues as the only gay team under the name “Team München”. The 41-year-old flight attendant about slurs in the ‘Kreisklasse’ C and the world championship

Mr Schmidt, you set up a football club for homosexuals in 1994. Why?
_I wanted to play football with like-minded people. The decision to enter the official leagues in 2001 got discussed very controversially in the team. Some saw it as too performance-related, but we decided that we wanted to give it a try in the end.
What were the reactions of the adversary clubs and fans?
_The opponents knew that we’d be in the league because of the Munich press. Some actually thought, “Yikes, now we’re playing against gays, are they going to run up in high heels and skirts?” When we won 10 to 0, we sometimes also heard, “Now that we’re already losing against gays, we can pack up just the same.” Even today, we still hear such things from time to time.
What do you have to listen to on the pitch?
_In a few instances it happens that the opponent says after a touch or a foul, “Don’t touch me, you faggot!” But the referee mostly stops that. Or we answer with a victory.
Have you been open about your homosexuality in your past clubs?
_I’ve always been very offensive about me being gay and haven’t had any bad experiences. My team mate doesn’t think, “I’ve got a nice pass by a gay,” but, “Nice pass!” In the end, it’s the performance that counts.
What did your team mates have to go through before they joined the Streetboys?
_About half of us played in hetero teams previously. Most kept their homosexuality to themselves, though, or just told close friends in the team. The only one besides me who was also open about his homosexuality also didn’t have any negative experiences – and he had played somewhere in the countryside near Rosenheim. I can only advise everyone to be offensive. The more open you are about it, the less reason you give others to attack you. The fear that something could happen is much bigger than what really happens. Gerald Asamoah’s skin colour doesn’t interest anyone anymore – save some idiots perhaps.
And career-wise, what is life like?
_We’re now third of the C class of Munich, the first two are ascending. We also take part in international tournaments often. My biggest triumph was the world championship of the gay football teams in 1996. Last year we got to be at least fifth at the World Cup.

The article was translated from a Germany magazine Rund and the translation was done by Ninamalfoy at LJ (Thank you so much).

IMO, I understand on how a gay soccer player would choose a closeted life. I mean, soccer is like the most popular game in the world, and that means the fans are not limited to the countried of which gay is accepted, but also on the countries where gay is not only a taboo subject but also can be sentenced to death *shudders*.

Anyway, reading this, I remember two gay movies I’ve seen about gay soccer player, the first one is Manner Wie Wir (Guys and Balls), a German comedy movie of which I’ve done a review for this movie here. The second one is Strákarnir Okkar (Eleven Men Out), an Iceland drama movie about a soccer star who outs himself just because he needs to become a cover/headline on a magazine.

Anyway, here are some soccer pitchers just for fun 🙂

Ireland Passed Civil Partnership Law

Civil Partnership Bill signed into law

The Civil Partnership Bill, which provides legal recognition for same-sex couples in Ireland for the first time, has today been signed into law.

The Bill was signed into law by President Mary McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin this morning

It extends marriage-like benefits to gay and lesbian couples in the areas of property, social welfare, succession, maintenance, pensions and tax.

The act also offers additional rights and protections for other cohabiting couples including a redress scheme for financially dependent long-term cohabitants on the end of a relationship.

Announcing the signing of the Bill today, Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern described it as “one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation to be enacted since independence.”

“This Act provides enhanced rights and protections for many thousands of Irish men and women. Ireland will be a better place for its enactment,” he said.

“It is of tremendous social significance, for the couples who can now register as partners, for their friends and families – ultimately, for all of us,” Mr Ahern added.

Changes to the tax and social welfare code will be made in the next finance and social welfare Bills. The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 is expected to be commenced when those changes take effect. The first civil registrations for same-sex couples are likely to take place early next year.

The Bill was approved by the Seanad by 48 votes to 4 at 6.30pm on Friday July 9th, having completed its passage though the Dáil the previous week.The legislation was widely supported in both the Dáil and Seanad.

The Green Party this afternoon welcomed the singing into law of the Bill.

“Today is a good day for all Irish citizines. This Act is a significant step forward and a stepping stone towards greater equality in our society, said the party’s justice spokesman Trevor Sargent.

“I look forward to the first ceremonies that will be held under this Act from next January. They mark an important venture for our society for which we have waited far too long,” he added.

source

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More and more countries recognize same-sex marriage/partnership, hope someday all countries would do the same and there will be no more discrimination against GLBT people everywhere.

Gay Westlife star wants children

Mark Feehily wants children, he has revealed.

The gay Westlife singer – who recently announced his engagement to long-term partner Kevin McDaid – admits he would love to raise a family after being inspired by his bandmates.

He said: “I’m surrounded by children because Shane Filan and Nicky Byrne have kids. I love kids and there’s nothing like the gift of bringing up your own kids. It would be nice if I got to the place where I was ready to bring up a kid.”

Although he is overjoyed that 26-year-old Kevin – who he has been dating for five years – accepted his proposal, Mark, 29, admits he has not yet started planning their nuptials.

He added: “There’s nothing planned as of yet, it’s just an engagement. We’re enjoying being engaged and obviously we’re excited about various different concepts for the wedding, but nothing has been decided upon.

“Both of us are very creative-minded people with a million ideas, so there’ll be a lot of time before we lock down exactly what it will be.

“I’d be lying if I said we had any idea.”

—-

source

Mark Feehily Griff FM Phone Interview on LGBT Topic

On Feb. 6th, 2010, Westlife’s star Mark Feehily was interviewed by Griff FM on LGBT topic, and here’s what he said in the interview:

Griff FM: First and foremost we have to congratulate you and Kevin on your recent engagement

Mark: Thank you very much

G: I can only imagine how difficult it would be for someone coming out of the closet, but obviously your situation, what with being in the public eye would’ve been significantly different, how did you cope with it all?

M: Hm… you know that whole celeb status… it was something that started of making things a bit harder but in the end, ironically, it made things easier for me because, erm, you know, being in the public eye, you know, once I came out it was on the front page of the paper and the whole world knew straight away, so I didn’t have to like come out in like five times a day to everyone I met, how they went along, erm… yeah, I have to say, I mean, you know, because on early days of Westlife and you know throughout kind of Westlife’s career it was kind of… eh, it was quite a difficult experience, you know, erm, I think, you know, it was a lot of dark times for me, a lot of times spent alone in the hotel room kind of just thinking about everything, and… erm, it’s not something that I’d wish on anyone, you know, and it kind of being through all that and now coming out the other end, luckily for me, happy… erm, it’s kinda inspired me to kind of share my story and sort of tell people that are in that situation, that things can turn out okay, because, you know, there is… the horrible side of things which, you know, when people get into a very bad place in their head, and, you know, they start thinking about very terrible things, and the outcome isn’t happy for some people, …, you know, well, I mean the word suicide is it’s a big kind of bad word that does, you know, exist, it’s in reality, and it happens and a lot of people end up in it, in that place in their head, and that to me, it just kills me to think people are, you know, get into that point, and I would do whatever I could to sort of explain to people that it doesn’t have to be like that, and that, you know, luckily in this state there’s a lot of things have turned out great in term of society, you know, so erm… yeah, it just, that something that I’m really positive about, you know, sort of trying to stop the suicidal type and depression type, and sort of thing, you know…

G: Absolutely, when you did come out the response was, it was absolutely overwhelming and positive, were you surprised by the reaction or were you worried?

M: I kind of didn’t ring a note how… what to expect, I kind of knew that, you know, society as they said and everyone were cool about people being gay… because, you know, this is something quite important, there were a lot of celebrities on TV and music that were out, even were gay publicly and I kind have looked and seen all the reactions of all kind of fans and kind of taught myself, well, you know, they’re kind of supporting all of these people, and I think that’s something that luckily for me, I was, supposed my coming out story was able to do for other people as well, because people look and they see their mom’s reaction or their sister’s or their friend’s reaction to a celebrity coming out and that can help them to gauge what their family-friend opinions are on gay people and I think everytime a celebrity comes out, and these people see their family or friend kind of go ‘oh, yeah, but sure, you know, what difference does it make or something’ and that can be a positive experience for the person who lives in the closet to have

G: You mentioned there about how you feel about people can be inspired by a celebrity’s coming out, did you use that feel about Stephen Gately’s coming out kind of form a template for you and what you could hope to expect?

M: Yeah, before me, I mean, Stephen Gately is borne sort of present, I supposed I’ve being compared to a lot of years, you know, Westlife and Boyzone are always very comparable and then you’ve got kind of said the gay one or whatever in the band, and for that reason, you know, myself and Stephen ended up in the same kind of story in the same paper, you know, quite a lot, and like, I mean, we didn’t necessarily know each other very very well, but I have to say for me, when I’d seen him coming out, he was in a boyband, it was kind of like, kinda like an out of body experience in a strange way, I felt I was kind of looking at sort of story very similar to my own unfolded in front of my eyes, so he definitely, his story and his kind of journey definitely inspired me in kind of taught me some things and also these people like Will Young and Bryan Darlene and everyone in the public eye that did come out as well and they’re not only accepted but they’re highly celebrated, so I think that without a doubt any celebrity that come out before me done nothing but give me positive feeling about everything and those positive feeling help you to get into the good place in your head where you should be at, you know

G: Absolutely, and after Stephen’s untimely death there was a few stories in the press particularly the one by Jan Moir who kind of incorrectly suggest that Stephen’s gay lifestyle had attributed to his death, what did you make of these kind of stories?

M: Erm, well I think, first of all, that was a horrible story, and I would be part of the private people that would be, you know, erm, whatever, like putting that down, erm, I think that’s probably an element to her where she got a little bit kind of lazy and, erm, like her journalism wasn’t very professional, I think that she kind of probably wrote, she probably writes fifty stories a month that she found it was just probably another story that she was kind of whacked out and she didn’t realize what she was, you know, sort of such a bull’s claim to me, and I think a lot of the time journalist can kind of, I supposed, forgets the responsibility that they have and get a bit lazy like that, you know, and I think that journalist should respect their power, the power they have to kind of influence people’s opinion and influence people’s mind, and that was very a clumsy irresponsible story that she wrote, and, you know, I don’t know her, so I don’t know how homophobic she is or isn’t, but I think that, as I’ve said it was very irresponsible journalism, you know, and it was clearly a lot of crap, you know, built that kind of claim that she made about Stephen, you know, clearly just stupid, really, and I just think that she made a big mistake, you know

G: The reaction I saw it was really, positive as in the public seem to come together whether be on twitter or blogs, could’ve told her ‘Jan Moir, you’re wrong’ and do you think that saying I’m sorry would’ve got the same reaction ten or twenty years ago?

M: Probably not, I mean, put it this way, like homophobia is very …, well it’s knocked up to the point where it’s not accepted by anyone, but it’s not really, the general rule in public walking down the street, homophobia isn’t really acceptable, it still exists but it’s not kind of something that… you know, if you’re in sort of say McDonald’s Q and somebody’s trying to put on something homophobic, you can be guaranteed that they will, most of the people in the Q will stand up for the gay person or whatever… society is kind of come along way, ten or twenty years ago I doubt that would’ve been the same, people might have, let’s say ten years ago people might have just said nothing, or they just kept quiet about it, or they would’ve been uncomfortable because they wouldn’t have known how to deal with it, and I think that nowadays people are more educated about gay people, and therefore everyone knows what acceptable, what’s not acceptable, and I think one of the main problem, you know, homosexuality through the years is people didn’t understand, and a lot of people are scared of what they don’t understand and know, so for that reason it was kind of this taboo subject, where is, all it takes is for everybody to talk about it, and be it on the TV, in stories say Coronation Street, and celebrities coming out and you know the person down the road or someone in your class in college being gay and all of a sudden it’s not that strange weird thing that is behind closed door, it’s a part of everyday life and that’s what happening and that’s what needs to continue to happen in order for us to get to where it needs to be.

G: So your advice to young men and women coming out about their sexuality is definitely to just go for it and speak about it?

M: Yeah, I mean, a hundred percent, I cannot promise that everyone’s mom or everyone’s aunty or whatever is gonna react positively, that’s not something that anyone can promise to someone who is in the closet, but what I can say is that in hindsight from me, anyone who would’ve had problem with it, I literally wouldn’t want for whatever and I don’t really want them in my life where, you know, I’m not, I mean, I don’t know, it’s not something that, there’s no point in being living in a dreamland, like for me, I got nothing but positive reactions, but like I said not everyone out there will face the same kind of response, but I can guarantee that your life would become a million times better, and you have to be a bit selfish about it and think about yourself, if you do have a homophobic brother, or a classmate, or a parent, erm, you know, well, screw them basically, you have to think about yourself and you have to make yourself happy in that situation, so I would just say come out, and if you have homophobic brother, then you’ll still have your supportive parent and your friend, if you have homophobic parents, you still have your friends and your brother, put it this way, everyone is not gonna go against you, if one person does, that’s the worst that could happen, and to be honest with you, you’d be better off without that person in your life.

G: Yeah, I agree.

M: But I have to say though, I don’t think people will find that, parents and, my granny was the first person who called me screaming, she was like, my granny is on the ninety, benchmark age wise, I’m not gonna say her age, she was ringing me on the phone crying and how happy she was and she can’t wait to meet Kevin, et cetera…, honestly, I think the people kind of probably build it up in their mind so much that they get to them where they don’t come out, but I think it’s actually a bit weird just like anticlimax sometimes and when you do come out, you expect kind of more reaction but it just isn’t there, you know.

G: Well, Mark, it’s been brilliant having you in the show, thanks for talking the call.

M: No, wait, I hope it didn’t wave along too much. I’m fascinated about the subject and all.

G: Thank you. The best to you and Kevin as well.

M: Cheers, alright, thanks a lot guys.

Gosh, how I love Mark Feehily, I completely agree with his view on coming out, we were better off without people who are homophobic in our lives even though they are family members or friends, and it’s quite sad to hear that he has to spend a lot of lonely nights back when he were still in the closet. But, at least he’s happy now with Kevin, again, congratulation guys 🙂

note:

#1. I typed it based on the interview, there are some words that are hard to interpret but I think I got all the main things he said on the interview 🙂

#2. You can find the audio interview link here

Eating Out 3: All You Can Eat (2009)

Eating Out: All You Can Eat reunites Rebekah Kochan (Tiffani from the first two Eating Out films) and Mink Stole from the second, but more importantly, it introduces audiences to a quartet of sexy queer guys who are often—but not always—like the characters they play on screen.

The plot has Casey (Daniel Skelton), who is crushed on Zack (Chris Salvatore), posing as Tiffani’s ex, Ryan (Michael Walker)— a stripper—to help Zach get over his ex, Lionel (John C. Stallings). Needless to say, comedy—and nudity—ensue.

Tiffani and her friend Casey try to lure the gorgeous Zack with a phony online profile using the image of Tiffani’s buff ex, Ryan… which works fine until the real Ryan shows up. Only through some fancy footwork, advice from his Aunt Helen and mentor Harry, and a daring sexual escapade can Casey figure out how to set things right and perhaps even find the love he’s been seeking.

Cast:

Rebekah Kochan        …     Tiffani von der Sloot
Daniel Skelton        …     Casey
Chris Salvatore        …     Zack
Michael E.R. Walker    …     Ryan
Julia Cho        …     Tandy
Mink Stole        …     Helen
Leslie Jordan        …     Harry
John Stallings        …     Lionel

The only thing worth watching from this movie is that the four leading gay characters are out actors 😛

Daniel Skelton

Chris Salvatore

Michael E.R. Walker

John Stallings

Funny quote:

Ryan: Jesus Mary Jenna Jameson!
Tiffany: I’ve never heard that without anything in my pussy before.

Trailer:

MARRIED LIFE FOR MARK – Pop hunk set to tie the knot

Mark Feehily & Kevin McDaid

Westlife star Mark Feehily and his partner Kevin McDaid are engaged to be married after celebrating five years together.

The loved up couple first met at a Childline concert in Dublin in 2005. “They decided to celebrate back in Dublin which is where they met five years ago,” said a friend

“They stayed in the Morrison Hotel and had a great night and have told all their friends and family.

“They’re really happy and everyone who knows them is delighted for them.”

He added: “They haven’t decided when and where they’ll get married yet but they hope to do it soon.”

Mark’s partner Kevin is a photographer and has just shot a major billboard campaign for a radio campaign that can be seen all over London. He shot the sleeve for the new Jedward single Ice Ice Baby last week.

Sligo-born pop star Mark has already revealed that he is still blissfully happy with his “first boyfriend”. “I don’t want the growing old part but I do want to do it with Kevin,” he said.

“We will be sitting there bickering all day long. I think you know when you love someone, it feels right inside.

“We always tell each other that we love each other. I don’t analyse it. I just live it.”

Mark insisted that the couple have been totally been accepted as part of their community in Sligo.

“Where I grew up is a far cry from New York or London but I haven’t had one comment made to me in Sligo. I have to give the place full credit.”

source: Irish Star

The news was confirmed by Mark Feehily via his twitter:

Hi guys,ITS TRUE!!! Myself & Kevin are engaged!! We are so happy! Exciting times ahead,thanks for all ur kind words! Lotsa love,Mark&Kevin x

http://twitter.com/MarkusFeehily

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Congratulation guys 🙂