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    Gay Sports Fans Are Helping to Lead the Resistance

    By Tom Temprano–

    I spent most of my adult life in the closet—secretively visiting bars in far flung neighborhoods, speaking about my forbidden love to only a few close friends and family members, and not believing there were other people like me. Finally, I gathered up the courage a few years ago to say it loud and proud: I am a gay sports fan.

    Like, a BIG gay sports fan. The kind who listens to podcasts, knows which college role player x went to, and who checks their Bleacher Report app before they’ve even left the bed every morning.

    The Giants’ World Series runs in the early twenty-teens helped me to begin to come out of my shell, but it was really the emergence of the ludicrously talented Warriors that showed me that there were gay basketball fans everywhere, especially here in the Bay Area. If you have any doubt, go to Hi Tops on a cheap wings night during a Warriors game!

    Despite feeling increasingly comfortable as a gay sports fan, I still felt completely out of place as a gay sports fan in politics. Every fall, my enthusiasm for the baseball playoffs and beginning of the NBA season would seem completely alien to politicos who were single-mindedly focused on Election Day. 

    And then Trump happened and the intersection between pro athletes, politics and protest became the hottest headline in America.

    While mainstays of LGBT culture like pop singers and Hollywood stars have been vocal opponents of the president, no public figures have garnered as much attention for their protests as members of the sports world. Perhaps it is because he expected jocks to be his base, but the Orange Menace cannot stand being persona-non-grata in the macho sports world, and his jilted tweets serve to further fuel athletes’ fire.

    Of course, Bay Area athletes and teams have led the sports world’s resistance.

    Last year, the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality in communities of color. This year that act cost Kaepernick his job, and inspired dozens of other NFL players to take a knee in protest.

    The Warriors stood up for San Francisco values when, upon winning the NBA Championship back in April, they made clear they would not legitimize Trump’s presidency with the traditional visit to the White House.

    This past Saturday, I was proud to see a number of our City College of San Francisco student athletes take a knee during our football game against Santa Rosa Junior College. These young people used the pros as role models, and showed that their platform as athletes provides them an opportunity to do their duty as Americans and stand up to injustice in this country.

    With the Warriors poised for another record-breaking season, and Trump’s Twitter fingers appearing as itchy as ever, this gay sports fan is ready for some epic showdowns. Go Dubs!

    Tom Temprano was elected to the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees in 2016, making him the city’s youngest elected official. He also owns Virgil’s Sea Room, a small business in the Mission District, and is a member of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center Board of Directors. Follow him on social media at twitter.com/tomtemprano & facebook.com/tomtempranoSF