Deep In The Heart
Ahead of the season’s first puck drops, the cavalcade of new writers continues. Bobby comes to us from Dallas and was one of the first gay hockey fans to stake a claim on the Interwebs. He has been a fixture on our blogroll from Day 1. While Bobby has his own site, he’s agreed let us cross post here as well as do features for us about his love affair with the Stars.
Some NHL markets may be less progressive than others, so some guys could have their work cut out for them. Not every owner is Ted Leonsis. Bobby has a great story of coming out as a hockey fan and as a gay man.
We already adore Bobby so much that we think that the first annual PuckBuddys convention should convene in
Dallas Austin. -Craig
“I’m Bobby and I guess I’m considered the Dallas Stars specialist, or however you would like to put it. There are two things you should know about me – I’m gay and I love my Stars!
I started my blog about a year and a half ago and have slowly but surely got into the swing of things. I’m a 23 year-old nursing student and I live in Arlington, TX. I was born and raised in north Texas and I have only ever loved the Dallas Stars. There are four periods in my life that lead me to the point that I am right now, involving my love for hockey: exposure, true love, struggle and acceptance.”
1. Exposure – I first saw a hockey game when I was 10 years old. I was never a kid that really enjoyed sports and was never really coordinated enough to play any of them (I was the kid that would score a soccer goal for the other team, literally).
But I remember the night my Mom and Dad got 3 tickets to a Dallas Stars game. I wouldn’t exactly say that I was ‘mesmerized’ but it kept me interested enough – a feat that had never been accomplished before involving me and a sport. I was still pretty excited about the game as a slowly drifted off to sleep, but when I woke up the next morning I was the same kid.
2. True Love – Later that season the Stars made it to the Stanley Cup. My parents were so excited that a team from Dallas was in a major sports championship, they watched the entire series. I remember watching most of the games and enjoying them, but it wasn’t until the 6th game in the third OT that I truly fell in love with the game. Seeing Brett Hull shoot that winning goal did something to me. The game was spectacular and is the sole reason I deeply, madly fell in love with the game. The 1999 Stanley Cup Finals is where I knew I loved hockey…and men! Mike Modano…enough said, and more on him another time.
3. Struggle – After the Stars won the Cup my parents took me to a few games the next season and we started to watch more of them at home. But the trouble was that in Texas, hockey isn’t really all that big.
You figure I live in an area where the Dallas Cowboys have ruled for the better part of my life, so it was hard to really have any friends or know anyone who had an affinity for hockey. This left me growing up with very little connection to the game and it kind of fell by the wayside for me. When I started college I began to get into the a lot more and had friends who loved it. I followed it closer than ever and this was around the time I began to came out.
Apparently being a gay hockey fan is quite the oxymoron down here in the south. Sure the majority of my true friends and family were perfectly okay with me being gay, but as I would soon find out, it’s sometimes difficult being gay and in love with hockey. As I began to meet other gay men and experience some parts of gay culture I realized that a lot of gay people found it pretty odd for a gay man to like hockey [Ed. note: Yeah, we're noticing that too].
I dated one guy who told me flat that I was not a “good” gay because I liked hockey instead of Lady Gaga. [Ed. note: Gaga in, Gaga out]. Sure enough that guy didn’t work out, and to hell with anyone who doesn’t get it. I spent a good year becoming comfortable with who I was, an openly gay man, and hockey was there for me.
4. Acceptance – I like hockey…and I especially like boys who play hockey. A few years ago I started going to a lot more games watching them religiously on television. I became familiar with stats, player information, transactions, and everything Stars.
During my last semester of my first year, I took a course which required I start a blog. A few days later it came to me – I should write about hockey from the point of view of a gay man, where I could discuss players, games, and even how cute the players were. So I started “A Gay Man’s Hockey Blog”, and after a year and a half I find myself collaborating with other fans from all over.
That is pretty much how I became the fan (and gay man) that I am today. I’m excited to be a part of this venture with such a wild bunch. I eventually found a man who doesn’t really follow the game, but is very open to my obsession, and in fact bought us both tickets to a Stars game next week. Does it get any better? Let’s Go Stars!
You can follow Bobby on twitter @gaystarsfan