As the old man of my university year, it was an eye-opener to attend my dear friend the Golden Boy’s 40th birthday. Though not gay back then, my partner and I were instantly accepted into the boys club of my Phys Ed years.
Twenty years ago it was acceptable to tut-tut the activities of students in the School of Human Movement Sciences. The grind of life leaves none of them working in sports. All are unashamed sports nuts, more comfortable discussing football than fancy footwear brands, scores instead of who they scored with, and happily moderate in their alcohol intake.
Had I judged them a little harshly for storing street signs in bedrooms, stocking homes with pot-plants which appeared mysteriously after a night in Melbourne’s King St and sprinklers on the house lawn remarkably similar to those on the university ovals?
Squinting at university peers 10 years my junior, it is nice that beneath my wrinkled brow exists a creature not too dissimilar to the one who completed his undergraduate degree in the early ’90s. The weathered younger members of the class are now entering the ‘repair, rejuvenate, renew or replace’ phase.
The Golden Boy, my former housemate, still so clean-living that his bare feet squeak when he walks on grass, is just a little weathered by shift work, a pregnant wife and Ironman training. No amount of chocolate-eating during swat vac has tarnished his lustre.
When asked this week, “Can a gay relationship ever be equivalent to that of a man and woman?” I could happily point to the examples of my uni class. With one exception, my same-sex relationship has outlasted all bar one of my peers. On their downside, however, is direct debit alimony, two sets of in-laws — also known as hell on earth — and a trail of rug rats from Albury to Albany.
It is an amazing group nonetheless. The Golden Boy ambulance officer whose Cheshire cat grin revives coronary patients, the former basketball coach now a municipal recreation facilities manager and worker in his wife’s organic cheese factory, the ex-state swimmer with a PhD in aeronautical engineering who works on sport equipment modification and finally, Greaser — absent as he supervised a group of Indigenous youth at his central Victorian camp before introducing them to urban life through sport and recreation.
Space forbids the discussion of the amazing women who in every case mirror or better the ‘boys’ of the Phys Ed class of ’92.
Gay Games registrations close May 31. Participation, travel, celebration and a nice big German bratwurst should be on everyone’s mind, as their bodies get ready to play with others from Team Sydney member clubs. It is the international meeting place for sports minded, gay and lesbian-friendly men and women from around the world.
Is it not time to reconnect with your own Golden Boy or Girl? Visit www.teamsydney.org.au

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