Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Jason Somerville

Four years ago I wrote this:

[S]ooner or later, inevitably, somebody that we all recognize from televised and/or online poker events (even if it's somebody who is not currently well known) will out himself. Every time this little curiosity has occurred to me, I've wondered how this incredibly macho, sexist, swaggering, "I am the MAN" poker world will react to the news. My guess is that there will be a lot of public quoting of the famous Seinfeld line (a la the title of this post), accompanied by a lot of quiet, private, nasty bashing. You can imagine the kind of things that will be written by the scads of anonymous contributors to the poker forums--those who can't make a comment about a female professional player that doesn't involve judging her attractiveness or lack thereof. I don't envy whoever it is who takes on (voluntarily or otherwise) the role of the first openly gay poker pro. I think it will be a difficult mantle to wear.
It appears that now we get to see if my predictions will come true with respect to Jason Somerville, who today publicly announced his sexual orientation.

(An unstated but obvious assumption in that old post was that I was referring to men. Since writing it, Vanessa Selbst burst on the tournament poker scene, apparently perfectly comfortable with everybody knowing that she has a live-in girlfriend. It's not like I didn't know that lesbians existed in the world, but my focus was on gay men, first, because there are so few women among the top tiers of the poker economy, and, second, because my impression is that gay women are less likely than gay men to elicit cruelty and bigotry from Neanderthal poker players.)

I hope my worst fears prove to have been wrong.

Monday, February 13, 2012