Straight Talk The author pulls no punches on being a gay athlete

August 10, 2003

GOING THE OTHER WAY: LESSONS FROM A LIFE IN AND OUT OF MAJOR
LEAGUE BASEBALL
by Billy Bean with Chris Bull
256 pages (Marlowe & Co., $23.95)

There is "no better revenge on the cruelty life doles out,"
writes Bean, "than the feeling of bat connecting squarely with
ball." Bean's bat never connected enough to keep him in the bigs:
In six years he hit just .226. But his passionate memoir of the
challenges he faced as a closeted gay athlete will draw empathy
even from those who are uncomfortable with homosexuality.

Bean does not shy from an issue that makes many straight men
uneasy: Yes, gay athletes get turned on in the locker room. Bean
met his first lover, Sam, in the shower at a fitness center. But
"being gay doesn't mean you lack self-control.... Restraint comes
with the territory."

COLOR PHOTO: MARLOWE & CO.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)