(UPDATED) Journalists are to gays in sports as anacondas are to small land mammals: They need to swallow one whole every now and again. We’ve been through this before.

Whose turn is it now? That of Anton Hysén, a fella who’s got pretty much everything you need: He’s Swedish, he’s got an acute accent in his name (not unknown – the Swedish language isn’t all Ä and Ö), he speaks colloquial American English, he’s smart and builds Volvos for a living, and – whaddya know – he plays “professional” soccer in some kind of fourth-tier league. He knows what he’s got. Looks great in photographs.

To answer the question that scaredy-cat intellectual journalists who can’t even dance, let alone play sports, always ask: What are his teammates gonna think about having a Gay in their midst? Well, they’re gonna pose for newspaper photos shirtless while stretching their waistband all the way out.

Hysén grins at camera while teammates stand around in dressing room

Journos – and old gays – who cover gay sports can never quite believe this sort of thing happens. Will that photo do as proof?

Now let’s assemble a couple of Hysénisms:

  • Guardian: “He has no time for gay stereotypes. As he politely puts it: ‘I’m not a big Pride person. There’s nothing wrong with Pride but it’s just not my thing…. I like to go to gay bars, but it gets a little bit too much when it comes to Pride. We’ll see.’ ”

  • Sun: “I know I am gay but I am picky. I am not into all this stereotypical gay-pride thing. The person I like will have to like sports.”

Do you not see what’s going on here? If you run a large gay organization or are an old Gay interested in sports or are a journo covering the topic, you probably don’t. The naturally masculine gay man has nowhere to go culturally. (You probably think there is no such thing in the first place, but the joke’s on you.) There is no place within gay culture for the naturally masculine man. They go where they fit in, which isn’t anywhere “gay”; in Hysén’s case, it’s an automotive assembly plant and a soccer team, where, by all accounts, he fits in just fine. Because he does. Straight guys have no trouble at all accepting a gay man who acts like a man – because it isn’t an “act” and he is one.

Assembly-line work and sports are all well and good as vocations, but where’s Anton Hysén gonna find a bf unit? Even he doesn’t know! He doesn’t know where to look. Because there is nowhere to look. There is no “safe space,” as lesbians like to call it, for gay guys like him. Don’t you think that’s a problem?

The result is countless atomized men who feel alienated and disaffected from gay culture. They are afraid to prairie-dog their heads above the sequinned Teletubbyland of gay culture lest they be lambasted for betrayal of the gay cult of femininity. On the other hand, any cadre of disaffected men with no use for women is gonna cause trouble. Push them too far and they become crypto-fascists like Jack Donovan (q.v.).

But Kurt on Glee is the big breakthrough, isn’t he?


Hysén gave an interview (quite clearly by E-mail, an inadvisable practice) to Gay Times (Summer 2011).

I don’t really meet guys and have never had a boyfriend…. I don’t do clubs or the gay scene in general. I’ve got nothing against it, but it just isn’t my thing. And when I do go out, a few people have said “You can’t be gay” or have asked if I like Sex and the City or Eurovision. I jokily reply if they know what the offside rule is in football. Usually they haven’t got a clue.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2011.04.17 13:19. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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