Home > I look like a moron > The Tragedy of Brendan Burke

The Tragedy of Brendan Burke

Brendan Burke died tonight.  Who was Brendan Burke?  The son of Brian Burke, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Brendan Burke became famous this past year for coming out of the closet in an attempt to cause hockey circles to be more open to accepting homosexuality.

This tragedy hits closer to home for me than most people that never met him.  Obviously, I cannot imagine the pain Brian Burke is going through, as I am not a father, but it does affect me.  Let me give you some personal background to explain why.

I did three years of college, in my third year I had a gay roommate, the last time I saw him, he took me and the girl I was dating out to dinner then, saying farewell, since neither he nor myself was coming back.  I was joining the Coast Guard and he was going to nursing school.  We were talking about the future, and he mentioned that one day he’d like to join.

Unfortunately that day is yet to come, despite recent efforts, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is still alive in the military.  That may be changing soon, but I’ll believe it when I see it.  The fact is, there’s a lot of guys who wouldn’t accept a gay shipmate here.  It’s too sad, because for me, all that matters is the flag on my ship, the letters on my chest saying US Coast Guard.  I don’t care about what sexuality or gender someone identifies as, even if we share a barracks room or a berthing area.

So how does this relate?  Because Brendan Burke wanted the same in hockey.  On a hockey team, what should be most important is the team, the logo on the chest, the sign on the locker room floor.  That’s what matters, not what gender someone is attracted to.  Brendan Burke was brave coming out of the closet about that, and I hope that will be extended throughout the world of hockey, into the military, and the lives of everyone.

I cannot imagine what pain his family is experiencing, but because of Brendan’s bravery, so many people’s prayers and thoughts, including my own, will be with them.

Categories: I look like a moron
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