Legendary former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin is one of two alternative covers of OUT's new sports "straight ally" issue. Rugby phenom, gay pin-up fave and anti-bullying advocate Ben Cohen is the second cover.
Irvin offers his support of gay rights and same-sex marriage, which he has previously spoken out on before. The Pro Football Hall of Fame star also shares the previously untold story of discovering that his older brother Vaughn was gay. Irvin saw him walking down the street in women's clothes one day while driving with his father.
The discovery made Irvin insecure about his own sexuality:
Irvin couldn’t believe his eyes. He turned to his father. "My dad looked back at me and said, ‘Yes, that’s your brother. And you love your brother.'" That was it. Irvin, who went on to become one of football’s greatest players, as well as the epitome of the troublemaking macho NFL stereotype, would never again discuss the issue with his father. [..]
Walter Irvin’s message was simple: Michael was supposed to love his brother unconditionally, no matter what he looked like or who he was. But, still, the discovery was a shock that haunted Irvin as he grew into one of college football’s most feted stars. He worried that people would find out about Vaughn and bring shame upon the family. Most of all, he worried that he was gay.
On a side note: Irvin says mega-church Pastor T.D. Jakes has helped him deal with his "personal demons" and discuss his brother publicly. You may recall that Jakes' son was outed and arrested two years ago in a public park. Jakes has generally avoided publicly criticizing gays since then ...
When Michael walked into the stylist’s realm at the shoot he quickly ripped off his shirt, dropped his pants and went right for an old vintage leather football helmet and shoulder pads. Once the camera was turned on him he tightened his abs and pulled his pants down to show the top of his boxer-briefs. Feeling protective of Michael I pulled him aside and assured him he didn’t have to do anything he didn’t want to do. "This is what I want," Michael said. "Let’s get people talking about this issue.”
Irvin strikes a pose AFTER THE JUMP ...