Contesting Places, Spaces, and Stories
Edited By Ahmet Atay, Yea-Wen Chen and Alberto González
6. Queer Fantasy: A Memory of Michael Sam’s Big Gay Kiss
University of New Mexico
In the evening of May 10, 2014, the ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programing Network) and NFL (National Football League) network broad-casted the last minutes of NFL’s draft. The first openly gay Black cisgender male football player Michael Sam from the University of Missouri was yet waiting to be drafted by a team. Sam’s draft received great media coverage because no other football players had been out as a gay man at the time of their NFL drafts. American football continues to represent manhood and masculinity through which the excessive displays of U.S. American nationalism are performed (Butterworth, 2008). Such nationalistic framing of masculinity that reinserts the superiority of cisheteronormativity almost always constructs the NFL players as cisgender and hyper-heterosexual regardless of their racial and ethnic backgrounds. As McCune (2014) reminds, “sexuality outside of heterosexuality is, still indeed, a taboo subject in American society. Sexual taboos undeniably facilitate and encourage comfort in more normative sexualities” (p. 28). Given this socio environment, there were some uncertainties around Sam’s possible draft because he was an out gay man. However, toward the end of draft, Sam received a phone call; the St. Louis Rams just drafted him. So, Sam immediately burst into tears as he had been waiting for this news for last two days. Then, Sam suddenly moved to kiss his cisgendered White male boyfriend Vito Cammisano in front of camera.1
Not long after Sam’s big gay kiss scene...
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