|Could Tim Tebow Become America's First Openly Gay Pro Athlete?|
|Written by Jonathan Higbee | Thursday, 12 January 2012|
The realm of speculating a celebrity's sexual orientation is a province best left unentered. But it appears Tim Tebow has invited the churns of the rumor mill with pious public professions and other "evidence" now garnering headlines in the mainstream blogosphere.
Fresh off the cleated heels of winning ESPN's America's Favorite Athlete poll (albeit by a slight 3 percent edge), Tim Tebow's sexuality has moved beyond the fringe to become a mainstream topic.
First up, a parody of the controversial Manhunt billboards has made Tebow and fellow QB hottie Tom Brady the subject of many a gay Facebook posts this week (less evidence and more entertainment, admittedly):
But the loudest testament to a gay Tebow (according to hordes of homosexuals and some leading blogs in recent days) arrives in the form of the quarterback's post-Steelers game interview from late last year, a video that's also spreading like wildfire across social networks:
Normally, I wouldn't spare a second thought to men who are prone to slightly-lisped, wrist-flailing demonstrations. Who cares?! But when it's the aggressively evangelical and anti-gay organization-associated Tebow, we—even the open-minded gays who are regularly subjects of stereotypes themselves—might begin to assess the situation. Lord knows (apologies for taking the name in vain and all, Tim) that history is littered with devoutly-religious types finding themselves "exposed" as homosexuals, and study after study continues to reveal that ardent homophobes are more often than not self-hating gays themselves.
But what if Tim Tebow was a gay man?
Deadspin imagines such a scenario:
"Tebow would have an incredible opportunity to bridge the persistent divide in this nation between evangelical Christians and the gay community. I mean, honestly: It's time for this matter to be settled. Tebow could get his followers to be more accepting of gays, and he could get filthy liberals to be more accepting of evangelicals. I think he and Von Miller would make the cutest gay couple ever."
I was raised in Middle America, taught to kneel before the alters of Christianity and football, so Deadspin's romantic vision of an openly-gay Tebow resonates. A self-appointed (and fan-made) prophet who could link the evangelical/homosexual gap? Imagine the implications. I couldn't even fathom as a Catholic-school-boy grappling with same-sex attractions having someone like Tebow to look up to. Years of depression would've been shaved from my life.
If the rumor based on archaic stereotypes and wishful-thinking holds even an ounce of validity, Outsports' Cyd Zeigler Jr. brings us back down to earth.
"All that pious religious bullshit he spews…at the end of the day, that’s not him," writes Zeigler. "That’s what his parents and his pastors have drilled into his head from the day he was born. The kid doesn’t even know who he really is ... If he is in fact gay, he may not know it. Even if he does, chances are slim he’d be comfortable telling his mother…or pastor…let alone us.
"If Tebow is gay, he is buried beneath so much crap he many never get out from under it. Instead of attacking him for it, maybe reaching out a helpful hand would be nice. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a crappy quarterback. But all that 'my lord and savior Jesus Christ' stuff…could be Tebow’s cry for help."
What do you make of the intensifying rumors surrounding America's Sweetheart? Should the gay community leave Tebow alone or should we apply pressure to our accelerating fascination with the country's "favorite athlete?"