The Debate Debacle

Beau's picture

On Monday in debate class I read what was essentially an edited version of my last journal (The Gay Athlete's Anguish), adding a part about the fear of changing and showering with a gay teammate to replace any personal references, along with a part about how Americans are becoming more accepting of gays, except when it comes to sports.

When I finished there was silence. I mean I could hear the clock on the wall behind me ticking. Or was that my heartbeat?

My debate teacher started clapping, something he does for a really good speech or for when someone tanks to break the silence. It was at the end of class and the bell rang and we left the room, but nobody said anything to me.

At lunch I was asked by a girl from my debate class why I chose to do a speech on gay athletes? Why would I even care...since...I' She just gave me this look, and then I told her about a gay athlete that came out recently and his emotional struggles and I thought it would be something different to write about.

She then told me something I hadn't thought about:

"You know Beau, people are going to think you're gay because of your speech? You're know they will."

I didn't get any more comments like that but the next day in class my teacher told me that I should use the speech at our upcoming debate tournament, and I told him what the girl at lunch told me.

I thought he was going to say, you're right, but he didn't. He told me it was a tough subject but the way I presented it was perfectly done...a "winner".

So now I'm in a bind. Should I give this speech at the tournament or come up with something else?

Be bold or play it safe?



Brady's picture

I'd say go for it!

That journal about gay athletes just blew me away, and really made me feel like you understand what I go through. It's a great subject and if you present it the right way you'll make people think.

You might also be reaching out to someone in the audience going through the same thing who has to suffer in silence?

At school you might have some people questioning you and you straightness, but if you don't want to come out then just play it cool. From the way you describe your life I don't think anyone would suspect you of being anything but straight.


Bosemaster42's picture


Go for it! I thought that piece was very well written, so no worries about that. As far as, what others may think or assume, let them think what they want. But, I wouldn't put pressure on yourself to reveal anything about you, until you're ready. Just be prepared for the inevitable questions.

jeff's picture


People might think/question your sexuality if you do speeches on gay issues, but since it is in the news, it seems perfectly acceptable for you to question it without being out/gay. With gay athletes coming out more and more, it is pretty topical.

"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles