At last, somebody has stepped into the ring: featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz has become the first openly gay man in the history of the sport.
I predict an uptick in the number of gay men taking an interest in boxing.
According to USA Today, Cruz said yesterday:
I've been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself.
I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career. I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man.
A Latino, coming out in the ultimate tough-guy sport? I gotta say it: The man has scored a knockout.
USA Today noted that welterweight and middleweight champion Emile Griffith, who fought in the '50s and '60s, came out as bisexual after his career was over, but now we have a fighter coming out at the top of his game.
Cruz is the No. 4-ranked featherweight by the World Boxing Organization. A featherweight, by the way, weighs 126 pounds, I looked it up for you.
I can only imagine what fighting will be like for Cruz from now on. He might be a better boxer, having freed himself from the yoke of his secret. But his opponents might well feel extra incentive to pummel him into mashed potatoes.
And the things they may say to him when they're in a clinch. Stuff like
You're gonna die, faggot!
Get your maricon hands off me!
Although Cruz might also hear
I know this great bar. Wanna go when we're done?