At the height of the marriage equality battle, LGBT prejudice is still prevalent in painfully familiar circles. Homosexuality, in particular, is still perceived as a threat to traditionally masculine domains. Two recent situations in the public eye support the pervasive truth of this reality.
In an interview, Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Lion) said that while he was in support of gay marriage, he doesn't believe that the world of rap music will ever be ready to take on a gay rapper. The rap world is a harsh one, especially with the combined use of homophobic slurs that makes up the verses to many songs. Snoop's music in the past has been no stranger to them.
In response to a question posed by The Guardian asking about the openly queer singer Frank Ocean possibly leading the way for other rappers, his response was adverse. "Frank Ocean ain't no rapper. He's a singer. It's acceptable in the singing world, but in the rap world I don't know if it will ever be acceptable because rap is so masculine," Snoop said.
"It's like a football team. You can't be in a locker room full of motherf----- tough-ass dudes, then all of a sudden say, 'Hey, man, I like you.' You know, that's going to be tough."
Speaking of football, marriage rights advocate and former Baltimore Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo said on an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he knows gay NFL players who may possibly come out together soon.
"These players, some of them are anonymous, some of them we know who they are, but their identity is super secret and nobody wants to reveal who they are, and some of them, they don’t want to reveal who they are, rightfully so, because it’s entirely up to them what they are going to do," he said.
In the end, it's all a matter of breaking the norm. Football players and rappers view themselves as living in a bubble of machismo that holds no space for compromise when faced with homosexuality that carries connotations of femininity and ultimately, weakness. The impending "threat" of homosexuality tends to incite aggressive retaliation in men, which is only one of many factors that may keep individuals such as NFL players or rappers from coming out of the closet.
Snoop describes a sudden locker room confession as something that would be "tough."
But it doesn’t have to be. Because really, what do straight, "tough" men have to fear —unless it is their personal insecurities harboring vitriol towards gay men, more so than having an issue with the nature of their sexual orientation.