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What the hell is 'foo-fooey?
May 3, 2005 11:22 AM   Subscribe

Joe Valentine has Two Mommies --..."It's no different than having a mother and father," he said. "These are the two women who raised me, and they are wonderful people. It's just not a big deal to me. Why should it be?" In an enlightened world, it shouldn't. But major league baseball is to enlightenment what Pauly Shore is to career longevity. ... Meet the Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher--"...a baseball player who was raised by two wonderful, loving mothers. How can anyone criticize that?"
posted by amberglow (41 comments total)

 
so, joe is really heather?
posted by quonsar at 11:28 AM on May 3, 2005


No, his name is Joe.

What a great story.
posted by agregoli at 11:32 AM on May 3, 2005


..I'll tell you, very few seemed to care that his parents were gay. They were wonderful people. And Joe - he's a man's man."

I love the way that the 'acceptance' of Joe's situation has to be validated by his manliness. The real story here for me is not Joe's background so much as the nearsighted attitudes in the baseball fraternity. Not one coming out of the closet ever? Now statistically that's got to be considered ummm...unlikely.

"I've got nothing against those people," Washington Nationals relief pitcher T.J. Tucker said recently. "But I don't get why anyone would want to be like that."


..a Nationals front office employee approached a reporter and asked him not to bring the subject of homosexuality into the clubhouse. "Makes the players uncomfortable," the employee said.


Such enlightenment. Thanks amberglow.
posted by peacay at 11:38 AM on May 3, 2005


As a man who made it possible for two women to bear two children, that story means a lot to me. Thanks for posting it.
posted by bowline at 11:39 AM on May 3, 2005


That's a wonderful story. A few thousand, a few million, more stories like that and maybe certain people would stop being so frightened of the idea that gay people are... just people.

Off topic, but it reminds me of a time at work a couple years ago when one of my co-workers happened to mention that she has THREE mommies (mother and father divorced, each parent now in a committed partnership with a woman), and another coworker, overhearing, said "Ohmigod *I* have three mommies too!"

And both these coworkers are straight, and married, and one is even about to have her first child.

Of course, this was the TV industry, but still...
posted by dersins at 11:39 AM on May 3, 2005


And both these coworkers are straight, and married, and one is even about to have her first child

good. because if any were bent, divorced and about to deliver a pony, it's prove how evil the foo-foo really is.
posted by quonsar at 11:43 AM on May 3, 2005


This article gave me the warm fuzzies -- but the sad truth is that it was only written because this particular child of gay parents is straight and manly.
posted by pmbuko at 11:50 AM on May 3, 2005


It might be pointed out that this isn't a baseball problem, it's a sports problem. I'm curious, actually - has anyone in a major sport (while playing at the time) ever come out?

This is a wonderful article.
posted by ORthey at 11:51 AM on May 3, 2005


Those doubting the deep, deep homophobia of Major League Baseball (Hello, Tommy Lasorda!) should read this page on Glenn Burke, the former major leaguer who invented the high-five and was a talented player... until he was run out of the sport for being gay.
posted by docgonzo at 11:54 AM on May 3, 2005


Proof that having queer parents doesnt mean you'll "turn" gay too. Though, he did have lesbian parents, and they did raise him to be a butch baseball player.

So, for those religioius whackos buying into the whole queerness as a choice, or something that someone can afflict you with, does that mean its just straight parents who are "turning" kids gay?
posted by taursir at 11:54 AM on May 3, 2005


true, pmbuko, but this will help counteract all the lies about kids of gay parents being messed up and stuff, no? Now that this generation of kids (raised from birth by out gay parents, which wasn't as true in the past) are all adults, their stories are living proof.

Billy Bean is the only baseball player i know of who came out, but he only came out after ending his baseball career. Outsports has this interesting survey on how teammates feel about a gay player on their team.

There have been a bunch of people in other pro sports, but baseball is still behind.
posted by amberglow at 11:58 AM on May 3, 2005


oops- taursir beat me to it. : >
posted by amberglow at 11:58 AM on May 3, 2005


great story amberglow, thanks
posted by matteo at 12:03 PM on May 3, 2005


Well see, this makes perfect sense, he's a man raised by lesbians, of course he's going to want to get together with a woman. If he had been raised by two men, then he'd be wanting to get together with the penis.

As long as gay couples raise children of the opposite sex, this should work out just perfectly.

And yes, I am joking. This is a good story and it is about time that the GayFear in baseball was excised.
posted by fenriq at 12:03 PM on May 3, 2005


Oh, it's a good thing that horrible Marge woman isn't the owner anymore.
posted by amberglow at 12:06 PM on May 3, 2005


My wife was raised by lesbians - her mother, and her mother's partner - and is one of the most competent, capable, well-adjusted people I have ever met in my life. And being that my mother-in-law is a lesbian, I know several other lesbians - some with grown heterosexual sons that were raised by two women.

Anyone who thinks a heterosexual household is in some way better for a child is an utter nitwit. It's the parents' attitude and outlook that matters, not their sexual orientation. But it's never been about what's better for a child; it's been about discriminating against the gay minority and rigidly reenforcing homophobia. If the religious wingnuts and the macho athletes (who have that homoerotic thing going on, anyway) actually cared about "the children", they'd be throwing their efforts into decreasing divorce.

Then again, why would they do that? Then they'd have to live up to their own lofty and oh-so-godly morals.
posted by bwilliams at 12:13 PM on May 3, 2005


Billy Bean is the only baseball player i know of who came out, but he only came out after ending his baseball career.

He was sending subtle hints during his playing days.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:23 PM on May 3, 2005


Great, now I don't want to get married or play baseball. The homos are ruining everything.
posted by orthogonality at 12:24 PM on May 3, 2005


... and quonsar just came out as a Bill Hicks fan. Sometimes it's the small things that make you happy.
posted by Termite at 12:27 PM on May 3, 2005


This is absolutely disgusting! Not the personal lives of his parents, but Valentine's 8.71 ERA. Out of 217 pitchers in the National League, 194 of them have a better ERA. Personally, I'd be surprised that he's still in the Major Leagues, but when you have teammates with ERAs of 9.00, 11.25, and one with an amazing 67.50, I guess an 8.71 ERA looks pretty good.

At least Valentine didn't pitch in yesterday's epic collapse by the Reds.
posted by hellx at 12:37 PM on May 3, 2005


I was raised by straight parents, and I'm a total dick.
posted by fungible at 12:48 PM on May 3, 2005


The whole breathless "imagine that, his parents are lesbians and it hasn't screwed up his life!" theme of this article is lame. I grew up with lesbian moms, and I turned out fine. So did the dozens of other kids-of-lesbians I know.

Being the straight kid of gay parents is an interesting position to be in. It gives me the opportunity to be a sort of ambassador for queerfolk. Since I'm straight, I'm less threatening for the uninitiated to talk to. I make a point to invite my sheltered-from-gay-people friends to concerts put on by the gay choir I'm in, and I talk openly about the family I grew up in. And how lucky is my daughter that she gets extra grandmas to spoil her!
posted by raedyn at 12:50 PM on May 3, 2005


The whole breathless "imagine that, his parents are lesbians and it hasn't screwed up his life!" theme of this article is lame. I grew up with lesbian moms, and I turned out fine. So did the dozens of other kids-of-lesbians I know.

Yeah, but that isn't the point. The point is that sure, Valentine (even though he's got that faggy name) turned out straight even though he had queer parents, but he also happens to be a famous baseball player. And, as has been pointed out, baseball is a notoriously homophobic atmosphere. Which means that folks who wouldn't ordinarily be exposed to folks with queer parents are getting a well-publicized, gentle reminder that people can be raised by homosexuals and still turn out straight. He's an ambassador in a position to reach more people.
posted by Specklet at 1:00 PM on May 3, 2005


15 years of little league, juiniors, minors, etc pretty much make sure that there are no gays in baseball.
posted by furtive at 1:09 PM on May 3, 2005


Thank goodness he isn't a pro soccer player. Having two soccer moms could definitely do some damage. This is how progress, however bumpy, happens.

..I'll tell you, very few seemed to care that his parents were gay. They were wonderful people. And Joe - he's a man's man."

yeah, that comment reveals that the speaker holds some stereotypical ideas about lesbians, but Joe's existence challenges tham. That's how people grow.
posted by jonmc at 1:12 PM on May 3, 2005


The point is that sure, Valentine (even though he's got that faggy name)

This manager (and owner of a fine sports bar) would like a word with you, young lady.
posted by jonmc at 1:15 PM on May 3, 2005


yeah, that comment reveals that the speaker holds some stereotypical ideas about lesbians, but Joe's existence challenges tham. That's how people grow.

I think the point of comments like that is to help people who actually do think that way feel more comfortable with the whole thing, and anything that might help change someone's mind is good. Sometime you have to be gentle, even with silly bigots, catching more flies with honey and all that. Baby steps.
posted by biscotti at 4:18 PM on May 3, 2005


so, joe is really heather?

No, because his parental units seem to be decent, understanding people who do not engage in blatant, totally irrelevant politicizing such as, say, wearing a "No Nukes" shirt.

Honestly, I'm all about non-traditional families, but I still fail to see the relevance of nuclear disarmament to the issue.
posted by dagnyscott at 4:30 PM on May 3, 2005


No, because his parental units seem to be decent, understanding people who do not engage in blatant, totally irrelevant politicizing such as, say, wearing a "No Nukes" shirt.

Or complaining about someone wearing one. Just sayin'.
posted by jonmc at 5:02 PM on May 3, 2005


It's nice. A little feel good is great to lower people's anxiety levels. This all American man's man, er, I mean this all American straight ladies' man, is product of a union between two non-threatening butch women. It's nice, and he sounds like a great guy.

There's a little part of me that wants a little bit more of a challenge. Would it be as easy for Joe Valentine if he were the son of two foo-foo guys? Or if he were a brilliant athlete, but a straight-acting foo-foo, or a foo-foo straight guy? 'Cause gay parents can have gay kids, or kids that identify with a sub culture.

It will really make my day when sports loving Americans embrace someone who makes them a little uncomfortable, but still impresses them with his or her talent and bravery.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:25 PM on May 3, 2005


Or if he were a brilliant athlete, but a straight-acting foo-foo, or a foo-foo straight guy?

There've been somewhat foo-foo straight guys in pro sports before. Remember Joe Namath with his fur coat and groomed sideburns? Joe Pepitone and his blow-dryer? Both were considered very foo-foo at the time. And let's not forget the (somewhat tragic) story of Emile Griffith (hell of a great movie, BTW).

And baseball isn't always behind the curve. It was racially integrated before the rest of society by a long shot. You could make the case that Jackie Robinson's success helped spur a lot of white peoples enthusiasm for the civil rights movement.
posted by jonmc at 6:32 PM on May 3, 2005


actually baseball was integrated after the public schools, and the armed forces, etc...and Robinson was treated like shit.
posted by amberglow at 6:38 PM on May 3, 2005


oh, sorry---i'm braindead today--never mind : >

he was treated terribly tho.
posted by amberglow at 6:41 PM on May 3, 2005


I must agree with JMC-- I've only had good experiences with baseball fans in my one experience at a sporting event. I took some Russians to a game in my home-town. They asked me questions I couldn't answer, which I translated and asked the fans, who bought us beer, explained the game and complemented me on my English, refusing to believe that any native born American could actually know so little about the National past time.

I didn't really like the game, but really enjoyed the fans. and one or two of the players !
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:50 PM on May 3, 2005


I didn't really like the game

Well, you're in Wisconsin, so it must've been the Brewers so I can't blame you for getting that impression. ;> But maybe you should read some books on the history of the game, it's definitely the thinking man's sport, the more you know, the more interesting it is.

and Robinson was treated like shit.

By some. The Brooklyn fans embraced him, which is why the Dodgers picked up Roy Campanella, Jim Gilliam and Joe Black soon after. And, I speak only for myself here, but my childhood idolization of Reggie Jackson, Julius Erving, and Muhammad Ali (NTM, my rock and roll fanaticism) has got to be related to my strong anti-racist stance as an adult. It's tough to hate what you worship.
posted by jonmc at 7:01 PM on May 3, 2005


disclaimer: I own a 70's vintage design Brewers cap, and Robin Yount and Paul Molitor are both in my pantheon of childhood athletic heroes (hell, I even have a soft spot for that fat bastard Gorman Thomas.)
posted by jonmc at 7:04 PM on May 3, 2005


15 years of little league, juiniors, minors, etc pretty much make sure that there are no gays in baseball.

Maybe. Maybe not.
posted by dhartung at 8:34 PM on May 3, 2005


...I've only had good experiences with baseball
fans


I think the article highlighted the fact that the problem is with the administration and likely a majority of players.
Where men assemble, manliness must reign.
posted by peacay at 11:56 PM on May 3, 2005


Where men assemble, manliness must reign.

Homosexuality and traditional notions of manliness are not irreconcilable.
posted by jonmc at 5:40 PM on May 4, 2005


Where men assemble, manliness must reign.

Are we talking leather bar here, cause that's not really true?

All kidding aside, when I gay player clearly stands head and shoulders above the rest, you can bet that players and managers will change their tunes. Gay people are accepted lots of places where they were once mocked.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:14 PM on May 4, 2005


not for the enlightened/accepting/openminded jonmc

when [a] gay player clearly stands head and shoulders above the rest, you can bet that players and managers will change their tunes.

So it's only because of the degree of his 'manliness' that he will be valued. That's very similar I suppose to a woman a few years back (hopefully not much now) who had to exceed expectations before she was taken seriously/got promoted in office jobs.
Both are outrageously onerous.
posted by peacay at 9:47 PM on May 4, 2005


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