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Obrigado, Michael Souza!

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Earlier, in response to Kobe Bryant's use of the word faggot and his initial apology-non-apology, I encouraged closeted gay male American professional, major league athletes to come out of the closet. A prime example of how this action can positively affect the treatment of our gay community can be found in Brazil where out volleyball player, Michael Souza, sustained homophobic treatment by an opposing team's fans when they hurled the Portuguese word "Bicha!" or "Faggot!" at him during a match.

Thanks to Michael Souza's unapologetic proud representation of our community, by his willing to admit to being gay, he and the Brazilian volleyball community beat back the assault with an undeniable show of support for both Michael and the LGBT Brazilian community at large.

Michael’s teammates wore pink warm-up shirts in support and one player wore a rainbow-colored jersey during the match. And fans rapturously clapped pink thundersticks emblazoned with “Michael” all throughout the match. And after Volei Futuro won a pulsating five-set match to stay alive, the sound system played “I Will Survive.” It was quite a scene as this video shows.

From an online translation of the account of the game, Michael said: “The music I want? You’ve heard the [song], right? ‘I Will Survive.’ This song can be it then.”

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