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The Good Ones - they die young


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The gay sports world is mourning the death of 19-year-old openly gay high school athlete Anthony Castro. Castro was killed in a car crash last weekend.

Castro had been a member of his school's football and wrestling teams in Banning, a conservative town east of Los Angeles.

Outsports' Jim Buzinski reported that football became his refuge after his mother rejected him and he ended up living with a legal guardian.

Buzinski wrote that "It took guts to" come out in the most macho of high school team sports, but that "Anthony never thought too much about it - he was not ashamed of who he was and if you felt uncomfortable, that was your problem."

Castro played in a tournament at the Gay Games in Chicago where he won the gold medal game alongside fellow out jock and former NFL lineman Esera Tuaolo.

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I'd say rest in peace, but I have a different wish. I hope he's up there playing football and other sports with all the other guys who didn't get to enjoy sports or couldn't be out. Also, best wishes, that someday, guys who will never get to run and play, will be up there, joining in with all the other guys and having fun.

If it's doable, I don't know, but I'd like to think he could be a "guardian angel" for some young guy who doesn't know that he can be gay and be out and be a true athlete in all the best senses.

Some of us are not natural athletes. Me, I lack the coordination and my personality isn't naturally a sports fan. I envy and look up to the guys that love sports and are naturally good at it. That's, well, awesome.

It's a personality quirk of mine: In school, it would not have occurred to me that any of the toned, handsome, friendly athletic guys were gay, and it dang sure wouldn't have occurred to me that any of the big, hunky, macho football guys might be gay. -- I don't know if any of them were, at my schools, but some must have been.

Why do I mention that here? -- Partly because, obviously, I was wrong: there are gay athletes, gay jocks... there are gay people of all kinds. That was partly demonstrated when I learned that some friends online were gay football players, big macho guys, who stood up for and "adopted" their gay friend who needed some support -- and went on to form a group to help gay teens around the country. (Yay, guys, you rock!)

For all the guys who are gay athletes, and all the guys who need to know that those amazing, handsome athletes can be friends and boyfriends, including for the kinda geeky, unathletic guys -- let's remember that you can find support, friendship, and love by being there for each other.

And just maybe, a few guys who never thought they could enjoy or be good at sports and fitness, or be gay or out while doing so, will find out they can be more than they thought.

It seems like a way to bring something good out of the loss of a guy I never knew, who was brave and remarkable, just by being himself and doing what he loved.

Yeah, I'm corny, but I mean it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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