Another Coup For Equality

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 12 2011 @ 5:12pm

by Chris Bodenner

Continuing the chorus from the sports world, Hall-of-Fame hotshot Michael Irvin comes out for marriage equality in a big way. This is fascinating stuff:

Irvin publicly acknowledges that the impetus for taking a stand comes from his  Dal_irvin_outmag_400relationship with his gay brother, Vaughn, who died of stomach cancer in 2006. Irvin had not spoken publicly about his brother previously, according to the magazine.

In the article, Irvin describes how his brother's sexual orientation contributed to his own issues. He says that he found out his brother was gay in the late 1970s, when he found Vaughn wearing women's clothing. Michael Irvin was rattled by the experience and has figured out since that it contributed to his own womanizing behavior.

Working with a Dallas area bishop, T.D. Jakes, Irvin looked at the past. "And through it all we realized maybe some of the issues I've had with so many women, just bringing women around so everybody can see, maybe that's the residual of the fear I had that if my brother is wearing ladies' clothes, am I going to be doing that? Is it genetic?" Irvin said to Out. "I'm certainly not making excuses for my bad decisions. But I had to dive inside of me to find out why am I making these decisions, and that came up."

And it gets better:

Irvin says that his father, Walter, helped him learn a tolerant form of Christianity because the elder Irvin accepted his gay son and encouraged him to love his brother unconditionally. Irvin now believes the African-American community should support marriage equality. "I don't see how any African-American, with any inkling of history, can say that you don't have the right to live your life how you want to live your life," he said, according to the magazine. "No one should be telling you who you should love, no one should be telling you who you should be spending the rest of your life with. When we start talking about equality, and everybody being treated equally, I don't want to know an African-American who will say everybody doesn't deserve equality."

David Tyree who? Read the full Irvin profile here. Is there another pro-equality figure – Christian, super straight, pro football, African-American – who shatters so many stereotypes at once?