Friday, March 5, 2010

Men Who Get It: Hudson Taylor

Let's end this week on a positive note, eh?

I first heard of feminist, pro-LGBT college wrestler Hudson Taylor via shakesville. Male athletics is known for being pervasively homophobic, which makes Taylor's admission to being pro-gay and feminist courageous. And yes, I do think it's courageous when men risk alienating themselves from other men in order to support people whom our culture teaches men not to support if they want to be Real Men. From his interview in OutSports:

"Taylor puts his money where his views are, donating each month to HRC, a leading gay rights organization. But his greatest impact is trying to counteract the aura of homophobia that pervades sports. He does this by bringing up gay rights in media interviews and discussing the issue with teammates, despite the discomfort it might bring....

'It's tough being a college athlete," Taylor says. "Guys like to bring each other down and use hurtful words. But I think you need to be conscious of your thoughts, words and actions.'"

Taylor and his girlfriend plan to marry and in a statement that my feminist sensibilities find particularly charming, he stated:

"Even if we decided to take our mother's maiden names, we'd still be operating in a patrilineal naming system. We find it pretty disturbing that male names have been 'labeling' people for hundreds of years. Matrilineal surnames and non-sex-based surnames don't really exist. So, we decided to just pick our own -- fresh, equal, ours. That way, we can share a name that does not perpetuate patrilineage. My parents were upset in the beginning. But, I asked them: 'Why is it that no one cares if my sisters abandon their surnames to adopt the names of their husbands, but everyone panics when I want to abandon my surname to adopt a new name with my spouse?' My parents understood, and as always, are very supportive."

It's always nice to be reminded that they make straight guys like this, too.

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