The Truth About Gay Men In The Locker Room.

Dear Davey,

I’m an openly gay college athlete and many of the other players have privately expressed their concerns about changing and showering in the locker room with me. I’m not really sure what to do and wanted your advice.


lockerroomHey Jon,

My advice is to link them to this article. They need an education and this class is in session.

First and foremost, your straight teammates need to understand that they’ve been sharing locker rooms with gay men their entire lives. They just didn’t know it. There is nothing new or different about showering with you; the only difference is that you’ve had the courage to come out to them.

Second, their straight teammates are probably more keen to check out their bodies than other gay men. The truth is, the locker room can be a pretty intimidating place for gay guys, and most of us go out of our way to avoid any sideways glances or awkwardness. Straight guys, on the other hand, seem perfectly comfortable staring at other guys and even commenting on their packages. For most gay men, this is terrifying.

Third, it’s worth reminding your straight teammates that just because they are men and just because we are gay doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re even interested in looking. In other words, they need to stop flattering themselves.

But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that your straight teammates are drop-dead gorgeous Adonises. And let’s pretend that you did actually take a lustful look at their nakedness. Is that such a terrible thing? Does you looking at them somehow rob them of their masculinity? Are they somehow lessened or diminished by your gaze? Absolutely not.

(In fact, you’re probably looking at them the same way that they look at women ALL THE TIME. But I digress.)

Finally, let’s not forget that straight guys are the ones with the power. It’s gay men who experience discrimination, who get teased and bullied for their sexual orientation and who are denied equality under the law. Straight guys aren’t victims in the locker room, or in life in general – and it’s not a cute look for them to pretend that they are.

In conclusion, my advice for your concerned straight teammates can be summed up in three simple words: Get over it.


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  1. Mark D. SCHANDER says:

    I hope things really are better. Back in 1968, when I was in the seventh grade, my interest in other guys was way too hard to hide. Eventually a couple guys manoeuvre me into a shower alone & raped me. It left me fucked up in the head for decades. Just be careful, straight guys can’t always be trusted.

  2. I hate that like gay people have types too. Just because a guy likes guys doesn’t mean they like all the guys. Same with girls. *eye roll*

  3. Peter Burum says:

    In addition to Davey’s excellent advice I would like to add that straight men who are uncomfortable around gay men are the ones who are most unsure about their own sexuality. The straight men who are secure with their sexuality have no problem being around gay men in the locker room, shower or anywhere else. .

  4. James Incarcerated says:

    its also straight guys that pat one another on the arse while playing team sports! It’s also straights guys thy check one im another’s body in the locker rom and “comment” on what “they” could work on to “look like you”.
    It’s also (many of) straight guys who “dry” hump one another-this escalates the more alcohol they consume.

  5. Iv played hockey my whole life and never had an issue in the locker room or with any of the guys. I prefer playing on my team with straight guys. It’s not sexual , these guys are my bros. that’s just how it is.

  6. I always felt uncomfortable showering in the boys locker room at school. I had this fellow student feel the same way; not because he was gay, but because he was overweight. We had to shower in the coaches privet shower room because of this. I was always teased about being gay; at a time when I didn’t even know what gay meant. It’ll get better I promise.

  7. This is almost exactly what I told a friend of mine that was terrified to come to the gym, again. “What if they think I looked at them, or what if I do?” HA! Let them think what they are gonna think. Let them pretend that everyone wants them. Fools. We have types that we like. Just because you have a cock does not mean I want it.

  8. Del Cuevas-Africa says:

    Take it from a former collegiate athlete who was out as well. They will get over it. Most of the time if you don’t make it an issue, they won’t either. That isn’t to say that there won’t be jackasses who are so insecure with their manhood that they will attempt to belittle you, but for the most part the majority of your teammates will learn to embrace you. Remember that a team is a brotherhood who depend on one another to preform in order to function and win. If your teammates aren’t willing to get past your sexuality and make it an issue, then they are simply not acting upon the team’s best interest. Another thing I would also like to say is to simply confront those who you feel are uncomfortable around you and address them and the issues at hand in a non-threatening way. Many times we humans read way more into a situation than is really there and therefore magnify our perceptions. I know I was lucky, as long as I could perform my teammates didn’t care who I hooked up with. They accepted me for who I was and appreciated the skill set I brought to the group. I hope the same for you.

  9. Ufff… Going through the same thing but at work. But thanks to your answers I feel much better. Bye bye fear of discrimination and bullynes.

  10. It’s a shame this has to even be said. I hope one day soon the presence of gay folk everywhere will be taken for granted.

  11. I know it’s an uncomfortable situation for both gay and straight men, but I feel as long a person isn’t being too extreme and creating awkward tension, there should be no conflict. As a gay teen, the locker room is a scary place (especially if you are open about your sexuality) but as time goes on, people will become more accustom to the way gay men act and behave and it won’t be so taboo (look how far the gay community has come in just the past century !). Who knows, maybe straight guys are just jealous that people would pay more money to see a hot gay mans package on screen than any of their sports ones ?! WE ARE QUEEN WHEN IT COMES TO THE PEEN xoxo ~passionate davey wavey fan<3

  12. I bow down humbly in the presence of such grnsteeas.

  13. Davey, I’m a teacher, GSA facilitator, and defacto advocate for LGBT students, and I currently have a situation where a trans girl is forced to change in the boys’ locker-room. Things are getting pretty tense. Boys are uncomfortable having “one of those” in their midst. I’ll share this article as part of our advocacy efforts. I’ma ’bout to put the intellectual smackdown on some administrators…


  15. Glad I’ve finally found something I agree with!

  16. that – I just started Bossypants too, only about a 1/4 way in, and… meh. some parts do make me laugh out loud, but other parts, yeah maybe I built it up too much because Tina Fey is hilarious. what IS hilarious? Modern Family… still our favorite show ever, I’m not a big television watcher and this one I actually look forward to! happy weekend, friend! XO

  17. Micha Kat raakt zo vlak voor zijn proces een beetje in paniek, en gaat als een gek om zich heen slaan, blaffen, en dreigen. Wat een nare ziekte is het toch.