Here’s the thing. Where there are groups of men involved in close physical contact, there will likely be some sort of gay attraction, both covert and overt. It is no big reveal. There is something in “the sound, the smell and the spray”, as Morrissey sang in Boxers. Christopher Isherwood wrote in detail of the playful wrestling he exchanged for foreplay in his LA years memoirs. The squashed noses and split lips of Bruce Weber’s hyper-masculine photography have wrought art from the erotic subtext of boxing. Reggie Kray sitting ringside at Bethnal Green boxing meets held its own special subtext, spelt out in riveting emotional detail in Jake Arnott’s underworld thriller, The Long Firm, and the opening frames of The Long Good Friday.
So being surprised that a gay boxer exists is a little like being surprised that gay activity exists in prisons, the army or boarding school dormitories. The sliding scale of testosterone exchange is a broad, welcoming and sometimes titillating church. Long before Orlando Cruz joined the burgeoning league of elite gay sportsfolk, boxing had transparent gay heat. The story of the writer who entered the changing room of 1960s welterweight champ Emile Griffiths and found him kissing his cornerman cannot be isolated. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/06/gay-boxer-comes-out-orlando-cruz?newsfeed=true