Alone in the Trenches: My Life as a Gay Man in the NFL by Esera Tuaolo, John Rosengren

By Esera Tuaolo, John Rosengren

This can be Esera Tuaolo's personal searing tale of terror and wish. A Samoan raised on a Hawaiian banana plantation, he had a common expertise, soccer. He went directly to play for 5 NFL groups: the fairway Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Carolina Panthers, and the Atlanta Falcons within the 1999 great Bowl. yet for the 9 years he performed specialist soccer he lived in terror that once his face flashed upon the television monitor, an individual may reveal his darkest mystery. Esera Tuaolo is homosexual.

Alone within the Trenches takes you contained in the homophobic global soccer and describes fears that just about drove him to suicide. He inspires heartbreak--how his older brother, Tua, died of AIDS--and desire whilst, Esera, a deeply religious Christian fell in love and began a family.

"Tuaolo emerges in those pages as a posh, intellectually curious and interesting person outlined neither via his collection of occupation nor by means of his sexual orientation." --Booklist

"Tough, delicate and brutally honest." --Robert Lipsyte, former big apple occasions activities columnist

"Even i used to be no longer ready for his awesome existence story." --Billy Bean, writer of Going the opposite direction

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Extra info for Alone in the Trenches: My Life as a Gay Man in the NFL

Sample text

One of the things this collection explores implicitly is this profession’s interesting geography, the spaces in which our bodies exist and profess. As Simone James Alexander points out, the real time of the classroom is only one such space; for her, as for several of the other writers in this collection, the space of the essay is a place in which what happened there is unpacked and worked out, eventually to return to a new teaching space. Our students, similarly, work through the classroom time in their assignments, e-mails, office-hour visits, course evaluations, and nowadays in Internet discussion lists as well.

I invited guests to class and set the pace so that people could connect with each other—somebody to somebody. I asked students to write at the end of term about one or two things in our work together that were really important to them. A young man wrote that the class visit from a lifelong activist was the most important thing that had happened for him. He said, “People always tell me that it is alright to be an idealist when you are young, but that you have to give it up as you grow older. When I met her, I knew that was wrong.

The pain of these contradictions can bring us to such a yearning for a disembodied certainty that we deny ourselves a richness of purpose and surrender others to an epistemology of expediency. We know the pain in our bodies, just as we know the glory. We see the pain of being shut down; its evidence is apparent in the defensive hunches of gathered bodies at faculty meetings and conferences where we anxiously pile up the modern-day cyberequivalents of mimeographed handouts. As George Eliot writes in Middlemarch: It is an uneasy lot at best, to be what we call highly taught and yet not to enjoy; to be present at this great spectacle of life and never to be fully 20 B ET T Y S MITH F RANKLIN possessed of the glory we behold, never to have our consciousness rapturously transformed into the vividness of a thought, the ardor of passion, the energy of action.

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