Friday, November 27, 2009
Brendan Burke's Awesome Coming Out Story
Because I'm a Canadiens fan, I've always considered Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke a belligerent ....um....jock.
But now, although it's painful, I have to admit he's a really neat dad.
Because this is one of the best coming out stories I've ever read.
He calls you "Moose" because you have always been a big kid. He cares very deeply about you and your happiness. You say he has always been there when you needed him. And he has a great sense of humor. Imagine that.
But on this night in 2007, you are petrified of your dad. Because you, Brendan Burke, at 19 years old, are about to tell your dad, Mr. Testosterone, that you are gay.
But what does Mr. Testosterone say?
I wish this burden would fall on someone else's shoulders, not Brendan's. Pioneers are often misunderstood and mistrusted. But since he wishes to blaze this trail, I stand beside him with an axe! I simply could not be more proud of Brendan than I am, and I love him as much as I admire him."
I stand beside him with an AXE. How many gay boys hoped they'd hear that from their fathers but didn't.
So imagine how gay boys who love sports feel when they hear Brendan say this:
"Imagine if I was in the opposite situation, with a family that wouldn't accept me, working for a sports team where I knew I couldn't come out because I'd be fired or ostracized. People in that situation deserve to know that they can feel safe, that sports isn't all homophobic and that there are plenty of people in sports who accept people for who they are."
Because he speaks for all of us.
Of course, it will take a lot more than that to rid sports of homophobia. But every step counts.
Well done dad.
Way to go Brendan !!!