13 Let’s have a ball

“What the hell are you thinking?” Ted stared at Tom in disbelief.
“I believe it’s the right thing to do,” Tom countered self-assured.
“No, Tom,” Ted yelled. “It’s not. These are peoples’ lives you are playing with. You cannot do this!”
Tom shook his head in disagreement, however, made a step forward and reached out his hands in reconciliation.
“I believe that I can change the lives of all of us to the better” he said calmly to his boyfriend. But his amiable tone just sparked Ted’s fury even more.
“Are you fucking gay Jesus now? You must be mad. Absolutely mad!” With a leap Ted stormed to the bedroom door and pulled it open. He turned around and seeing the fury and disappointment – and maybe sadness – in Ted’s eyes made Tom’s heart slump
“When I come back,” Ted said with thin lips, “I want you to be gone.” He slipped out and closed the door.

Tom sat down on the edge of the bed and sighed. Clearly this had been a terrible idea. He should have never told Ted about his blog and how he had finally come to envision it now. Or maybe the blog was a terrible idea? No, no. He shook his head. He was right. It was a wonderful idea, but he should have known that Ted would disapprove of it. After all, it would affect him, too.
Tom perhaps should have waited another week before telling Ted. Perhaps only after he had published the first article on his blog and there was no turning back. Ted had been cranky since he had lost in the semifinal yesterday and, of course, the prospect of being forced out of the closet by his own lover could not cheer him up. Annoyed by his own stupidity and myopia Tom got up and sat down at the desk.

The screen of his laptop displayed the words he so proudly had read aloud only a quarter hour ago. He had spend hours on polishing and tweaking the text until the words had seemed perfectly right. Now, they seemed merely a black on white proof of his own utopian convictions. He went through the arguments again he had written down. They were deliberate and well-thought-out. In no way he had pointed out a single player or given any names. But he had to admit, that his article had the power to make a lot of people uncomfortable. It brought attention to a subject that was handled as a taboo, especially for the male players. Giving an precise and unadorned insight into the hardship and efforts of gay and lesbian players to keep their private life undisturbed by the media might bring exactly the attention they were all so keen to avoid.

Tom clenched his teeth and logged onto his blog 30 Love. Remembering how he found the name for his website almost made him cry. Was it over between him and Ted? It looked like Ted was serious. But Tom was serious about this, too. And one day, he hoped, Ted would understand.
He pasted the article into the blog and after going over it a last time. It was a great first article. It was only the beginning. He would feed the readers with little tidbits and behind-the-scenes information but would not give any names. Not until he had evidence of each and every gay and lesbian player currently ranked in the Top 20.
Once he had gained all the evidence he needed, he would announce the sexual orientation of all the players and make it public at a single blow. There would not be one singular player who stuck out and be tarred and feathered, but the media would be completely overwhelmed by the number of players and the players themselves were not alone. In the end they would have to stick together and weather the storm side by side. It was a congenial idea and he knew it.. He was also playing with other peoples’ lives. Tom looked at his words a last time and then pressed PUBLISH.

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