This is Emile Griffith, from the Virgin Islands. He was a boxer in the late 50s and early 60s. There were a lot of rumors about whether he was gay or not. Evidently Emile has never given an answer that has quite satisfied anyone. So much so that it seems he has been deemed to even have a medical condition that causes him to be confused about whether he is gay or straight.
Now I don't know anyone that has ever had this condition before and I'm not saying that he doesn't have it by any means. However, he supposedly developed this disease after being mugged and beaten badly. An article about Emile on Wikipedia states...
In 1992, Griffith was viciously beaten and almost killed on a New York City street, allegedly after leaving a gay bar. Today, Griffith requires fulltime care and suffers from pugilistic dementia. According to Sports Illustrated, the Alzheimer's-like condition makes him confused about his sexuality, and he sometimes declares himself to be heterosexual, other times he identifies as gay and other times, as bisexual, but one that prefers women.
There were rumors about Emile long before 1992 one boxer (Benny "the Kid" Paret) that he fought who unfortunately died due to there fight on March 24, 1962, called him a maricon (spanish for fagfot).
The death of Paret caused much controvery in the boxing world. Boxing was not televised until the 1970s after Paret's death.
I write all this to say the following:
- He was born on an extremely homophobic island, why wouldn't he deny his homosexuality?
- He was a boxer. In the sports industry even today we know how difficult it is for someone to admit that they are gay.
- I'll never understand why it is so important for people to be able to categorize and undermine those that they deam less worthy of respect than themselves.
- Lastly, homophobia is the fear of becoming a homosexual. Why are so many people afraid of becoming what they supposedly don't think that they are. If one knows they are straight are they afriad that they'll fall on some dic azz first or into some azz?
If you get the opportunity rent the DVD Ring of Fire that documents this time in Emile Griffith's life and his present life. It's a sad story that doesn't talk a whole lot about his homosexuality but one commentator in the documentary makes no hesitation in stating the Emile is Gay. It's a tragic story that I'm sure would effect the lives of anyone that would have to go through what he did. Watch the deleted scenes too. Those are even more interesting.
In the words of Rodney King, "Can't we just all get along?"