Name a sport and there is a gay league for it. There is gay hockey, gay football and the Gay Games. There is even gay rodeo, which features the usual rodeo events, plus "goat dressing" (contestants run around trying to put jockey shorts on a goat), "wild dragging" (contestants try to place a begowned transvestite atop a bucking bronco) and "steer decorating" (contestants try to tie a yellow bow on a steer's tail).
"Everybody rolls their eyes when you say gay rodeo," says Ken Pool, 42, a gay cowboy, "but the animals aren't gay. It's just as tough as any other rodeo."
And gay sports have nearly as many controversies as straight ones, including steroids, under-the-table payments and those full-body Speedo swimsuits in the Olympics. "We're aghast at those," says Tyler Schnoebelen, a gay water polo player. "We all cheer louder for the normal Speedos."
At the Gay Softball World Series in Washington, D.C., in August, the Houston team protested that the Atlanta team had two more straight players than the two allowed under tournament rules. How do you go about proving you are gay during a softball game?
Look, ump! My batting gloves match my spikes! Didn't you see me tidying up the dugout between innings? I'm dying to be out!
Mostly, though, the gay panelists wanted fewer words and more pictures of athletes that make them go, "Yummm."
There were many votes for more pictures of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Mike Alstott, the Minnesota Timberwolves' Wally Szczerbiak, Fox's Troy Aikman, and the center-quarterback exchange. Oh, and singer Melissa Etheridge wanted anything to do with Serena Williams. "The woman is a goddess," she said, sighing.
And Zeigler, well, he had more advice—on how to make sports more gay-friendly.
1) "Why can't the NFL throw some Internet cameras in their locker rooms?" he said. "I mean, [ Denver Broncos wide receiver] Ed McCaffrey would make any straight man gay."
2) "All tennis players need to wear their shirts like Andy Roddick. You get to see his belly button with every stroke!"