Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Paying respects...

So to take a break from all this oogling...I would like to take a moment and pay respect to someone I don't personally know, but would love to find and have the same courage he had in his short life.

As I was browsing Towleroad.com, I came upon this article about an out athlete named Michael Anthony Castro. He died at the age of 19 when the driver of the vehicle (his boyfriend at the time) had lost control of their vehicle and fell 120 feet into a ravine. An event I am somewhat familiar with but luckily for me (and unfortunately for Michael), I had less of a tragic outcome (I gloss over my event here, ask me for details if you want in).

To paraphrase his story (but you should definitely read both articles in full from EPSN here and from Outsports.com here), he was closeted until his sophomore year in high school and then was out as a gay athlete in football (as a quarterback), swim (as a team captain) and wrestling. One of the great stories retold about Michael Anthony was when a homophobic guy on the wrestling team kept spewing remarks. Michael Anthony confronted this guy head on and asked him to put his money where his mouth was. Michael Anthony shut the guy up after pinning the guy in 30 seconds and conversely the guy had quit the wrestling team in effect (which according to the stories, Michael Anthony felt if you couldn't deal with his homosexuality then it was your problem). Also it seemed like Michael Anthony was a joker of sorts, when he joined an openly gay flag football team. Stories retold by his the organizer of the team and other players of the team exemplified the great attitude Michael Anthony had about life in general. Also he showed how well he loved too, when he introduced his then boyfriend Cody whom he joked about being "straight" with the team coach. Michael Anthony also had faced hardships in his personal life with a mother who had turned him away (but his gay high school counselor became his guardian and mentor), a father in prison and friends whom had died from gang and drug activity (which he tried to use football as an outlet for both himself and those friends during these times).

Michael Anthony's short but lived life ended as of January 21st, 2007 and his burial just today, January 30th, 2007 in Santa Ana, CA. May his soul rest in peace and his memory continue to remind us as a prime example of someone we all aspire to be.


P.S. This story reminded me of a few people: JP of Overnight in New York for his courage of being out to his fraternity brothers regardless of what they thought; Phil of Micifus for being out as a gay athelete, as well as to his family now, in which he showed alot of courage and ferver in being resolute in what he was doing. Also thanks go out to JP and Tim of I Think I Might Be Gay, for reminding me that I need to be less downtrodden on myself and more confident, which the above story became a good reminder that I need to think more highly of myself. Also thanks to Drew of Superdrewby.com for being a constant reminder to smile every day! *hugs Drew* :D

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