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A number of writers also offer sports analysis from a queer perspective, including Brian Pronger's The Arena of Masculinity, Joe Clark's Village Voice and online essays. A new fiction anthology is currently seeking fiction stories set in the gym.

The world of erotica, of course, has long been a fertile ground for fantasies and perhaps, stereotypes about the level of sexual tension a gay teammate can inspire. Pornography has, in fact, elevated, or denigrated (depending on your point of view) the locker room as a prime sexual arena.

The explosion of autobiographical tell-almost-alls written, or co-written, by lesbian and gay athletes that overshadows the fiction genre, with the stories of Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Tom Waddell, David Kopay, Martina Navritalova, Dave Pallone, Glenn Burke, Billie Jean King, Dinah Shore, Greg Louganis, Rudy Galindo, Ian Roberts and other famous athletes sometimes coming out on a grand, well-publicized scale in time for book tours and eager readers. Bob Paris? various fitness and autobiographical and photo books have offered various insights into his amazing life.

Those hungry for hints about other gay athletes' identities are often disappointed, even in Skip Bayless? Hell-Bent, which attempts to verify the now obviously misguided rumors of quarterback Troy Aikman's sexual orientation.

Dozens more non-fiction books such as Lisa LeBrecque's 1994 Unity: Gay Games IV book, and the Dutch-produced GGV commemorative document gay athletic events. In Lesbians and Gays and Sports Perry Deane Young and Martin Duberman explain queer jocks to a young audience.

Roxxie's Girljock: the Book, a whimsical collection of pieces from the popular zine, includes among its contritors Lucy Jane Bledsoe, author of the simply titled, Sweat. (Seal)

Mariah Burton Nelson explained that The Stronger Women Get, the More Men Love Football.

These Strong Women have Deep Closets, as proven by Pat Griffin's authoratative treatise on women in sports and lesbophobia, as does the same press's earlier book Her Story in Sports: A Historical Anthology of Women in Sports (Human Kinetics).

Cappie Kotz's co-gendered Boxing For Everyone and even Carol A. Turkington's eerie No Holds Barred, the Strange Life of John E. DuPont, make it pretty clear that sweaty homos offer diverse experiences for readers.

But with the advent of Oberlin College's athletic director Mike Muska making inroads, and 19-year old French tennis player Amelie Maurismo casually outing herself, and rebuffing lesbophoic swipes with equal aplomb, how are the new stories about lesbian bi and gay athletes to be told?

Does a healthy well-adjusted protagonist harm potential compelling plot and conflict? Do characters more concerned about their protein intake and product endorsements deny the other problems that face our community? How does the heroic ideal hurt or help the realities of our lives and fictions of our stories?

(This is from Athletic Type: Queer Sports Stories, a panel I hosted at OutWrite '99 in Boston on February 27, with some updates.)

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