especially white American men. I make generalizations about their politics- about if they care about unions and a living wage, if they support marriage equality, if they support a woman’s right to choose, and if they’re willing to stand up and fight for these things. I also make judgements about how they do, or don’t, use their gender and racial privilege to support a progressive political platform.
Today Micky Ward, a boxer who apparently had some big movie made about him or something, and is a big name in Boston, almost endorsed Sen. Scott Brown. I say almost because 30 minutes after confirming the endorsement on the phone with Brown’s campaign, he called back to say he just couldn’t do it. In fact, he said
“I found out Scott (Brown) is anti-union and I’m a Teamster guy,” said Ward. “I found out he’s also against gay marriage and I say if you love someone you should have the same rights no matter who you are.”
That warms my sarcastic, pessimistic little heart. When a professional boxer (arguably one of the most macho sports around) stands up and says, on the national stage “I’m for marriage equality, I can’t support this guy,” that a BFD. It matters to me as a queer woman, reminding me us queers aren’t alone in our fight for equality and basic civil protections. It matters because he IS a macho “man’s man,” and his public statements might resonate with other men’s men. And it certainly matters to thousands of young (and not so young) LGBTQ athletes who will read or hear about this. U.S. culture around gay rights is changing, far more slowly than I’d like, but creeping along every day.