Even though it should not be an issue if somebody is gay or if he or she does their coming out, we unfortunately not live in a perfect world. Nowadays more public figures or sportsmen are coming out of the closet and it is at least a start that these persons are becoming a role model by just being themselves. Being proud of who they are and telling who wants to know which team they are “playing” for. 😉
The PINK person of this month March is Orlando Cruz. Most people think about gays that they are sissies, they are not macho and not manly enough. Well Orlando proves them wrong. He is a featherweight boxer and also an active one (most athletes do their coming out after they retired) and he came out late 2012, but still keep scoring after his coming out. This proves you should not be afraid for telling who you are and that you can achieve anything you want, if you put your mind to it.
A few active professional athletes have come out lately. But there has yet to be an openly gay player in Major League Baseball, the NBA or NFL. Pedro Julio Serrano, spokesman for the US-based National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, praised Cruz for his decision and said it breaks stereotypes that gay people are not involved in sports like boxing. “It also gives a lot of hope to young gays who can see in him the integrity and bravery to be who you are and face a society that is often intolerant, especially in this type of sport,” he said.
Orlando Cruz, who is born on the first of July 1981 and began boxing at the age of seven, has enjoyed a successful career, with an appearance as part of the Puerto Rican team in Sydney under his belt. The boxer debuted as a professional following the games and won his first world title in 2008. Currently he holds the WBO NABO featherweight title. Cruz said he was relieved about his decision but had initial reservations. “I was taunted and bullied because I was little,” tells Cruz, who topped out at 5 feet, 4 inches. “And because they thought I was gay. They tried to abuse me with words.” He says he was called “maricon” and “pato” — two Spanish-language equivalents of “faggot.” In an ongoing attempt to defend himself, Cruz wound up in a lot of fights. The School administrators called his parents, with the principal saying, “Your son is crazy,” His parents didn’t want him to fight on the street. So they enrolled him in boxing lessons. Orlando Cruz gained discipline as he became strong and fast, a hell of a fighter.
“I developed physically and mentally to take such a big step in my life and in my profession, which is boxing, knowing that it would have pros and cons, highs and lows in this sport that is so macho,” Orlando said. “I kept this hidden for many, many years.” Cruz said he met with psychologists and others before making the announcement, adding he has the full support of his family, trainer and manager. He praised his mother and sister for their unconditional love and said his father has always backed him. “Like every father, he wants his son to be a full-blooded man,” Cruz said. “But he is aware of my preference, my taste.”
At 18, Cruz realized he was gay. At 25, he entered into a serious relationship with a man who lived in New Jersey. He spent the next two years shuttling back and forth between Puerto Rico and Jersey City. Though it was easy to live an open life there instead of his publicly closeted life in Puerto Rico, the distance didn’t stop Cruz from coming out to his family and his team — the manager, trainer, and promoter so essential to a boxer’s life. After two years he got fed up with traveling and moved to Jersey City, where he settled down with his boyfriend, continued his training, and studied to become a personal trainer. He and his boyfriend broke up in 2012, the year when he did his coming out.
Cruz said he is prepared for the fallout from his announcement, saying many boxers had already suspected he was gay but gave him privacy.“I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself,” he said. “I have always been and always will be a proud gay man.” Cruz said he did not want to “hide any of my identities”. The statement continued: “I want people to look at me for the human being that I am. I am a professional sportsman, who always brings his best to the ring. I want for people to continue to see me for my boxing skills, my character, my sportsmanship. But I also want kids who suffer from bullying to know that you can be whoever you want to be in life, including a professional boxer. That anything is possible and that who you are or whom you love should not be an impediment to achieving anything in life.”
He scored his second victory since coming out in March 2013. Cruz, whose nickname is “The Phenomenon,” defeated Aalan “The Bomber” Martinez in a sixth-round technical knockout at Kissimmee, Florida’s Civic Center. Cruz is now a contender for the World Boxing Organization’s featherweight championship belt. During the fight, Cruz wore a multicolor boxing kilt with Puerto Rican and rainbow flags as a nod to his nationality and sexual orientation. During the sixth round, Cruz climbed the ropes and pointed to the rainbow flag on his trunks, earning enthusiastic approval from the crowd. After his victory, Cruz took to Twitter to thank God, his grandmother, trainers, and the LGBT community, tweeting in Spanish, “I love you and carry you with me.”
The only other professional boxer who was quoted as saying that he had relations with men and women was US Virgin Islander Emile Griffith, who told The New York Times in 2005 that he struggled with his sexuality. His comments came decades after he ended his 18-year career as a pro boxer.
He is a brave, masculine, strong, openly active gay sports man and a role model, so Orlando Cruz deserves to be our Pink person of this month. We wish him all the best in his career and that he found a good supportive man to live with in the future.
Have a PINK day and knock that haters out!!!!!