Brian Burke isn’t just a legend of the NHL. He’s a fists-up, knock-your-teeth-out gladiator.
But when his hockey-loving son came out of the closet and died soon after, he was thrust into a strange new role: advocate for gays in a macho sports culture.
He’s no cheerleader—he looks like he hates every minute of it—but locker-room homophobia may have finally met its match (Mary Rogan Examines NHL Legend Brian Burke and His Advocacy for Gay Athletes)
"Growing up straight in a dominantly homophobic and homosexual sport was hard for me and for them," he adds. "I remember my family defending my sexuality before I even understood what sexuality meant."
"I remember being constantly asked, ‘Oh, you’re a figure skater now? So you’re gay?’"
At 12, Larcom went to live and train as a pairs skater in Tampa, Fla. Despite being thousands of miles from home, he encountered the same stereotypes. Once, a girlfriend, a fellow skater, dumped him because her friends teased her about dating a male figure skater. Hockey players called him “fag,” “gay,” “homo” and “queer.”
"I’d be holding my skating partner’s hand [while practicing on the ice], and I’d want to go faster and stronger to prove I could beat them," Larcom says about the hockey players. "I thought, You’re playing with sticks, but I have this girl who I can lift and throw. You try to look like you’re Goliath." MORE | Timeline
L.A. Kings fans Taunt N.J. Devils With ‘Jersey Shore’
HA! Wow. Good one, Kings fans.
Wayne Gretzky’s daughter is quite the wild child! So we did a little investigating into the hockey offspring scandalizing Canada. For science.