Mark Bittlestone is a stand-up comedian. He is also very gay man. Just a very gay man, doing a lot of straight-up gay stuff.
You may or may not be aware that “the Euros” – the European International football (soccer) competition – starts this Friday. Now, I’m aware that this is a very “straight” topic to have a gay column on, HOWEVER I would like to cater here both for queers who fear footy and for those who love it. Let’s see if I’m able to heal the bitter divide in our community (that I’ve entirely invented because no one really cares)… Here are my top 5 tips!
1) Watch it completely unironically.
Maintain that not an iota of you watches it for all the beautiful men. Pretend that the boner you have is nothing to do with the close-up on Phil Foden’s bum. Forget that you know the lyrics to every West End Musical and instead belt out “God Save the Queen” at the top of your voice. You love footy, it’s neither for gays nor straights, it’s for everyone, and you’re going to enjoy it. Yeah you are!
2) Watch it ironically.
Pretend that you’re incredibly into it, but keep shouting incorrect things. Even better – full disclosure, this is me btw – double bluff, because you are actually really into it. I like asking the table of lads I’m with “which team is in white?” or “so is this the Champions League?” or “can I suck you all off in half time?”. Then I get up and cheer and whoop when the opposition score and loudly pick up the phone to have a convo about Drag Race with my bestie during a penalty shootout.
3) Don’t watch it.
This is the gayest statement you could make. Fu*k ‘em. No out queer players in the entire competition. They don’t deserve your valuable attention. Jerk off instead. You were going to anyway.
4) Actively schedule large events to clash with it.
Find out who the proper gays are in your circle of friends by scheduling an event which WILL NOT BE TELEVISING THE FOOTBALL (make this clear). Then immediately unfollow all the “gays” who do not come on the basis that they must be watching the footy somewhere, which is inherently not gay.
5) Play in it.
You’ve got a few days. Borrow boots off someone straight (your dad?) and get practising your keepy-uppies (no, this isn’t the sort of “keepy-uppy” that can be solved with viagra like poppers-induced limpness on a Saturday night). There’s bound to be another injury and I’m sure “Gareth Southgate” will be looking for someone with your skillset: fondness for balls and tackles; disrespect for straight, male authority (the referee); not phased by big crowds (you do drag at your local working men’s club). Go for it.
For more from Mark, find him on Instagram here