February 06, 2006


Then ya ain't got one! Erik is a friend, and boy, was his daddy a tiger! If you're as sick of hearing about the Super Bowl as I am--except how Aretha demanded that they put her and Stevie Wonder on, announcing that ignoring Detroit's homegrown talent in favor of the Rolling Stones was an insult--you might enjoy this article. (Of course I didn't see the game, but I'm told Re Re didn't even need a microphone!)


Former NFL Player Frank Jackson talks about his gay son, Texas conservatism and what would happen if Vince Young was gay

By Cyd Zeigler jr.

Coming out to your parents is never easy. Even if they were card-carrying hippies and dabbled with the same sex themselves, the great fear of their unknown reaction can be intimidating.

But when your dad grew up in Texas, served in the Army, and is a former pro football standout, the thought of telling him that you sleep with men could be overwhelming.

That's what Erik Jackson went through 15 years ago. Erik is the son of Frank Jackson, a former running back and flanker who played for the Dallas Texans (who became the Kansas City Chiefs) from 1961 to 1965 before being picked in the expansion draft by the Miami Dolphins in 1966.

"Certainly, it had crossed my mind that this man who had spent his life in athletics, in the most extreme of macho environments, may have some difficulties with this," Erik says.

Erik had passed pretty well for straight all his life. While he didn't take to football, he was a track-and-field star, running the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter spints, setting a school record in the former that he still holds to this day. He had a girlfriend through much of high school, right up until he headed West for USC. He was class president. All of this in Plano, Texas, meant he was straight, no question.

So, when he finally told his father that he was gay – over the phone the evening after his mother had guessed his lingering secret – he waited for the great unknown: the reaction of this former pro athlete.

"Without missing a beat, [my dad] said, 'Look, I'm going to love you no matter what. It may take a little time getting used to, but it doesn't change the way I feel about you,'" Erik recalls. "It was the dream scenario."



Blogger Cie Cheesemeister said...

That's great that his dad, especially seeing as he was from such a "macho" world was able to have that kind of attitude. I've always had to thank my stars that I'm straight because if I had been a lesbian, my family wouldn't have disowned me but they would still be trying to send me to "deprogramming" camps.
Little do they know about my Inner Gay Dude! :-)

1:34 AM  

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