How Gay is Rugby?

October 25, 2011 in General

Grown men rolling around with each other while wearing what appears to be skin-tight lycra.  It sounds like the beginning of a C-grade porno, but it’s not.  These days it’s called the Rugby World Cup.

Rugby has never been something I’ve cared about.  I’ve been vaguely curious about why chasing that ball is so important, but have never taken the time to learn what it’s all about.  This has all changed over the past few months.  My flatmates have stood in our living room passionately belting out their respective anthems every time their national team appeared on TV, and I’ve listened to armchair commentary after armchair commentary.  Their spirit has been infectious and in spite of myself I’ve been caught up in the rugby fever.  One thing in particular has impressed me since I began watching the game.  Rugby is kinda gay.

I’ve held this view about other sports in the past.  On one occasion I walked into the living room and did a double-take, wondering who was watching gay porn on the TV.  Two scantily clad men were locked in a passionate embrace, one resting his head on the chest of the other.  It took a moment to register that someone was watching the wrestling channel.

A game of rugby is similar.  The tight clothes, short shorts, hugging and crying are all reminiscent of Family Bar on a Saturday night.  And take the tackle.  Rugby has to be one of the only places outside of gay porn where you can see two men rolling around on the ground holding each other with that level of sweaty determination.  Not to mention the clothes.  It’s the first time shirts that tight have been seen outside of K’ Road.

Whether it’s because of the clothes or the game, the gay community has certainly been standing in support of the All Blacks.  It’s possible we’ve been turning the TV on for nothing more than a bit of aesthetic pleasure (reminiscent of the way straight men watch Wimbledon), but I think it goes deeper than that.  It’s about a sense of national pride that transcends everything else.  It doesn’t matter whether or not you usually watch the rugby – there’s something spectacular about knowing that we kiwis are the best in the world at something.

I’m proud to say that I support the All Blacks.