Hitzlsperger is a retired footballer who recently came out and also discussed the issues other closeted gay footballers face nowadays. There's evidently a great deal of fear from negative reactions and many don't come out because they don't want to take the chance of dealing with all this while they are playing professionally.
‘I've never been ashamed of it and towards the end I thought about it. ‘But I thought I still I wanted to be a football player more than I wanted issues of talking about my private life.’
Hitzlsperger is the first player to have played in the Premier League to come out as gay and believes players are reluctant to come out because of the uncertainty surrounding the possible reaction.
You can read more here. I find it interesting that this will shock some people. Being part of the gay community for so long I've known men like Hitzlsperger who remained in the closet for the very same reasons.
This is totally unrelated, but they called Hitzlsperger "The Hammer."
FREE Gay Excerpt Friday
Hot Italian Lover
This excerpt is from my book, Hot Italian Lover, and it's one of my favorites because it was set in Italy. It's also one of the few times I wrote about a female impersonator who is the exact opposite of who he is on stage and in real life. I'll post the blurb below, and an excerpt. You can find it here on Amazon, or other places where e-books are sold. It also gets into how a gay celebrity who is still young and gorgeous starts to deal with the thought of middle age approaching soon.
Joey King likes the spotlight. He's worked hard for over twenty years to reach a pinnacle of success and to achieve a cult following, and now he's the big star in one of Broadway's most successful shows.. But when he's not on stage performing, Joey King is an attractive gay man just turned forty who is terrified of growing older.
On the last night of his show, Joey overhears people snickering about his age and it leaves him questioning his future as an actor- he's terrified of becoming a joke, and being laughed at.
In a state of confusion, Joey travels to Chicago in the middle of the night to be with his longtime partner of twenty years, Ned Stevens, who is there on a business trip. Ned has always been the one constant strength in Joey's life.
But when Joey reaches Chicago, he is met with a devastating shock.
When Joey King returned from his daily bike ride in Central Park,
he passed a gilded Baroque mirror in the lobby of his building and stopped
short. For an instant, he thought he saw his father’s face reflected back at
him—when his father had been around the age Joey was now. Joey pressed
his palm to his throat and lifted his chin higher. Then he tilted his head
back and turned a little to the right.
This wasn’t the first time Joey had noticed his father’s middle aged
face looking back at him in a mirror, especially in the past year.
Though it didn’t happen often, and Joey could never predict when it was
going to happen, he’d catch a quick glimpse that would leave him so
stunned his heart would start pounding in his ears.
Joey stepped back from the lobby mirror so he wouldn’t be
standing directly beneath the bright crystal chandelier, and his heart began
to slow. He took a breath, exhaled, and turned to the right. He looked like
himself again, the handsome, well-built, image of male perfection he’d
worked so hard to create all his life. In this angle, without the harsh
overhead lighting, his dark brown hair was still shiny, his lightly tanned
skin still firm, and he still had a slight cleft in his chin. He looked more
like thirty than forty; his father’s middle-aged face disappeared. He almost
laughed at the mirror, because he should have known better than to stand
directly in harsh lighting. Joey had been an entertainer long enough to
know that no one, no matter how old they are, looks good lit from above.
When he was upstairs in his penthouse and stripped out of his
biking gear to take a fast shower, he glanced at his naked body in a full length
mirror to the right of the black marble shower. In this soft light,
with steam pouring out from the shower, he looked nothing like his father
had looked at forty years old. Thanks to a strict daily workout routine,
Joey’s defined chest bulged and rounded. He ran his palm down his flat
stomach and stopped just below the two lean muscles on his lower
abdomen that led to his groin. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on him—just
lean muscle and bone.
He spread his legs wider and tightened his thighs. The definition
in his legs matched that of his upper body. Thanks to regular waxing, the
only visible hair anywhere on him was a neat little patch that resembled an
arrow above his penis. Before he stepped into the shower, he turned and
gazed at what had always been his most flattering feature: his tight, round
buttocks. When he arched his back and looked over his shoulder at the
mirror, he smiled and took another quick breath, hoping he still had a little
time left to do a few things he wanted to do.
After he showered and shaved, he put on sweatpants, a sweatshirt,
and a navy blue baseball cap. Then he grabbed a black backpack that had
been resting on a gilded stool at the foot of his Louis IV bed and jogged to
the elevator. He still had plenty of time to reach the theater before the
show began. He never rushed anywhere on purpose, but he’d always been
so filled with energy he couldn’t help moving at a fast pace. He jogged
through the lobby and smiled when the doorman held the door for him.
When he reached the long black Town Car waiting for him outside the
building, he patted the driver on the arm and climbed into the backseat.
On the way to the theater, he checked his e-mail and listened to a
few messages on his voice mail. When he returned his BlackBerry to his
backpack, he smiled because there didn’t seem to be anything urgent to
deal with that afternoon. There had been a message from his agent about a
deal he was negotiating for Joey’s next acting job. There was another
message from his sister in California, and one from his life partner, Ned.
Joey’s sister had called to wish him well that night, and his life partner,
who was away on a business trip in Chicago, had just called to check in
and say he’d arrived there safely. Ned was a high-end New York art dealer
and he had wealthy clients all over the globe. He’d been traveling like this
since he and Joey had started dating almost twenty years earlier.
Joey rested his back against the plush leather seat and gazed at the
passing cars. He’d call his sister and his partner back later, and he’d deal
with his agent tomorrow. The only important thing Joey King had to do
that night was give an excellent performance on the final night of the long running
Broadway show he’d been starring in. He smiled when he
remembered how everyone had predicted the show would fold in three
When the Town Car dropped him off at the theater, he jogged to
the stage door entrance and went directly to his dressing room without
stopping to talk to anyone. His makeup took a long time and he knew it
was better to start sooner than later. But something happened on the way to
his dressing room that made his heart race even faster than it had raced
when he’d caught a glimpse of his father’s face in the lobby mirror an hour
Two attractive young guys with small parts in the play didn’t see
Joey coming down the hall. They were standing on the other side of his
dressing room, talking about their careers, and Joey couldn’t help but
A guy with a deep voice said, “When this show is over I’m
not sure what I’m going to do.”
Another guy with a softer voice replied, “I
guess we just have to keep going on cattle calls, because there’s nothing
else we can do.”
The guy with the deep voice made a groaning sound and
give guys like us a chance, we’re totally fucked.”
The one with the soft
voice laughed and said, “Yeah, they’ll be pushing that old queen out on
stage in a gilded wheelchair ten years from now.”
Joey blinked. He was barely forty, and in ten years he’d be fifty. A
wheelchair? How old did they think he was?
The dressing room door was wide open and Joey’s assistant, Karla,
was standing there with one hand on her hip and the other pressed to her
stomach. Joey knew Karla had overheard the young guys, too, so he sent
her a glance and shrugged his shoulders as if trying to make light of their
comments. He tried to smile but his face felt so hot and his heart was
racing so fast he started to feel lightheaded. This wasn’t the first time
someone had made a reference to Joey’s age in the past year, and he knew
it wouldn’t be the last.
Joey was one of the few successful female impersonators in show
business who had reached the pinnacle of starring in his own Broadway
play. And it wasn’t just any old musical comedy. Joey’s show consisted of
elaborate set designs, special effects, cutting-edge costumes, and intricate
dance routines. It was sexy, outrageous at times, and had gathered the kind
of cult following that only happens once in a while. Most theater critics
had compared the show to a rock concert, and one of Joey’s songs, Vicious
Bitches, had hit the mainstream top forty.
For Joey, a lot of this success had been unexpected. But he’d
worked extremely hard to achieve everything in his life and he took
nothing for granted. He’d made the crossover from small-time drag queen
in dingy gay bars to major Broadway star and recording artist, which
hadn’t been easy. Joey knew that even though his show had been one of
the most successful on Broadway in years, there were other young female
impersonators—just like he’d been once—who wanted their chance to star
in a big Broadway play. They would have killed to be successful recording
artists, and they weren’t shy about letting anyone know it.
Karla, always the devoted assistant, punched the wall beside the
dressing room door and the two young actors jumped. They were already
in costume—blond wigs, glittery showgirl outfits, and high heels—and
waiting for the show to begin.
“Don’t you two assholes have anything
better to do than stand around wasting time?” Karla asked them.
The two guys turned. When they saw Joey standing there and
realized he’d probably overheard what they’d just said, they both gulped at
the same time. The one with the deep voice nodded fast and said, “Sorry,
we didn’t think anyone was around.”
The one with the softer voice looked
down at his high heels and smoothed out his sequined showgirl costume.
Joey forced himself to smile and said, “Let’s kill them out there
tonight, guys. It’s the last show and we don’t want anyone to be
disappointed. This has to be the most perfect show we’ve ever done.” He’d
learned a long time ago the best way to handle negative criticism was to
pretend it didn't bother him.