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Houston Voice, No. 1217, February 20, 2004
File 011
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Houston Voice, No. 1217, February 20, 2004 - File 011. 2004-02-20. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 19, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6119/show/6100.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2004-02-20). Houston Voice, No. 1217, February 20, 2004 - File 011. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6119/show/6100

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1217, February 20, 2004 - File 011, 2004-02-20, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 19, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6119/show/6100.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1217, February 20, 2004
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Fisher, Binnie
Publisher Window Media
Date February 20, 2004
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 011
Transcript I,NIMH,I voice EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION Executive Editor CHRIS CRAM Edtor BINNIE FISHER - bfisher'ntaistonvoicccom Production Editor KIKI CARR taiK-londeilts: LOU CHIBBARO, JR. JOE CREA. LAURA DOUGLAS-BROWN. LAUREL FAUST, MIKE FLEMING, MATTHEW HENNIE. RYAN LEE, BRIAN MOYLAN, KEVIN NAFF KEN SAIN, CHRISTOPHER SEELY. STEVE WEINSTEIN Contrtxftrs JOHNNY HOOKS. JOSEF MOLNAR, JASON VICTOR SERINUS. MUBARAK DAH1R. JA CHAPMAN, AND ARJAN TIMMERMANS Phctographen DALTON DEHART, KIMBERLY THOMPSON Webmaster ARAM VARTIAN SALES COADMINISTRATION General Manager JASON WILSON iwilsonn houstonvorce.com Account Executives JENNIFER HOLLAND - jholrandiahoustonvoice.com Classified Sales/ Office Administrator JOHNNY HOOKS - |hookso houstonvoice.com National Advertising Representative Rivendell Media • 212-242-6863 A WindowMedia Publication Publisher- WINDOW MEDIA LLC President- WILLIAM WAYBOURN Editorial Director- CHRIS CRAIN Chief Financial Officer RON VERBLAAUW. CPA Corporate Controller- BARNETTE HOLSTON Art Director-ROB BOEGER Director of Operations MIKE KITCHENS Director of Sales- STEVEN GUERR1NI Director of Classified Sales- NATHAN REGAN [fa JGuiM MEMBER thediamber CHARTER MEMBER Established 1974 as the Montrose Star. 500 Lovett Blvd. Suite 200 Houston, Texas 77006 (713)529-8490 Fax:(713)529-9531 wvrwhoustonvoice.com Contents copyright 2004 Office hours: 9 am. to 530 p.m. weekdays To submit a letter Letters should be fewer than 400 words. We reserve the right to edit for content and length. We will withhold names upon request, but you must include your name and phone number for verification. Please send mail to Houston Voce. 500 Lovett Blvd. Suite 200, Houston. Texas 77006; fax (713) 529-9531 or e-mail to editor ahoustonvoKe.com. Opinions expressed therein do not reflect those of the Houston Voice. All material in Houston Votes is protected by federal Wight law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of Houston Voice. The sexual orientation at advertisers, photoqrd*t»-*tv writers and cartoonists published herem is neither inferred or implied T|** appearance ot names or pctonal representation does not necessary indicate the sexual or■entat-on of that person or persons Houston Voice accepts unsolicited editorial material but cannot take responsibility for its return. TTw editor reserves the noht to accept reject or edit any suturussion All rights revert to authors upon publication GurrJermes For freelance MMM '"■ Mtth 'iphi 'oguest Forum HOUSTON VOICE FEBRUARY 20, 2004 PAGE 10 editorial The power of the *f word' Japanese pitcher's gay pom past makes him the latest target of homophobia in sports, where athletes are petrified of being called a faggot.' By CYDZEICLER. JR. Issue 1217 HEN KAZUHITO TADANO, A minor league pitcher with the Cleveland Indians, held a press conference several weeks ago to apologize for participating in a gay adult video, the hopes of gay sports fans skyrocketed. Finally, there would be an openly gay athlete in the Majors — and a porno star to boot. Tadano said in the press conference that he and other teammates participated in the video when they were financially struggling students at Rikkyo University. This was not news to the sports world. Tadano was one of the highest- rated college pitchers in Japan in 2002, and was expected to be a high draft pick in the Japanese professional baseball league. When word spread that year of Tadano's appearance in the video, the commissioner of the league told every team not to draft him. They complied. It's no shocker that Tadano, in his press conference, pulled a Mike Piazza right off the bat: "I'm not gay," the 23- year-old pitcher said. "I'd like to clear that fact up right now." For gay sports fans, the story became a non-story Tadano would be no gay Jackie Robinson. The door for gay athletes in pro sports would still be closed. We would continue to lack any gay role models in the four major professional team sports. THE FACT THAT TADANO IS JAPANESE also contributed to the quick disappearance of the story. If it had been Andy Pettit or some other hunky, in-shape Anglo pitcher, Web sites would have collapsed from the flood of traffic trying to download or order the video. What is telling about Tadano's story was buried in the last line of most of the press reports. When asked whether the name calling from rowdy fans would bother him, Tadano jokingly replied (through an interpreter), "I don't understand English, so it doesn't really matter." The implication was that it would matter if he did understand English. If he did understand what the drunken fans along the first-base line in Shea Stadium were screaming, it just might get to him. This is one of the main reasons athletes give us when we ask why no one has come out. They say they'll get harassed by teammates and fans to the point that it will seriously interfere with their play. It would simply be too painful to be called a faggot, a homo or queer and take to the field. When a Page Six item in the New York Post two years ago alluded to the possibility that New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza was gay, despite having not been named specifically, Piazza felt the need for an immediate press conference to proclaim his heterosexuality. The last thing he'd want to hear from fans and other players is the "f-word." Yet, athletes and coaches pull no punches when they tease and harass other people. Because the f-word is the lowest form of degradation, coaches use it to motivate players ("You're running like a faggot"), players use it to motivate one another ("Don't throw like a faggot"), and now men in the front office are using it to attack former players. Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker complained about riding the New York subway next to "queers" with AIDS. Tennis pro Goran Ivanisevic said that an opponent looked like "a faggot." Pro football player Garrison Hearst said he didn't want any "faggots" on his team. New York Giant Jeremy Shockey called former New York Giants coach Bill Parcells the worst word he could come up with: "homo." And an executive with the Detroit Lions called a player who used to play on his team a "faggot." Despite their fears that someone may call them the same thing, athletes at every level throw these hateful epithets around with reckless abandon. Every team in the Japanese league passed over pitcher Kazuhito Tadano when they discovered he had performed in a gay pom video, but the Cleveland Indians were willing to sign him. Still, at a press conference last month, Tadano's first words were denying he was gay. SO LET'S GIVE THE CLEVELAND Indians two cheers for doing what no team in the Japanese pro baseball league would do: associate themselves with Tadano. That is not a small feat. In sports, it's guilt by association. Openly gay high school track coach Eric "Gumby" Anderson has talked about how his team in Southern California became, to opponents, "the gay team" when he came out. Athletes continue to give power to the one thing they fear more than striking out in Game 7 of the World Series or dropping a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl: someone calling him the f-word. Tadano may not know English; but, whether he's gay or not, he's going to become painfully acquainted this season with words like homo, queer, sissy and the f-word. Forget about opposing fans. That's just what his teammates will call him. Cyd Zejgler is associ- tf ate editor of the New York Blade, a paper affiliated with this publication; he can be reached at czagler@nytla^coni.
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