Lynch Mob Mentality

A few pictures before I launch into today’s tale.

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Some pretty fine bodies there, you must surely agree. Muscle and definition to be proud of, and to be admired by all of us in the fitness ‘trade’.

Forgive me for making a point…

Not to the taste of the part of our local Tennessee population we might term ‘redneck’.

I have written of the fairly recent inclusion of Leo’s two African-American friends into the teen fitness ‘clique’. Turns out this is not to the taste of some of his other school ‘mates’. Actually, it was Chris, Leo’s best friend, who ‘got it in the neck’ earlier this week, when he was talking on the sports field during a break at High School with Theo and Errol.

100+ years ago in this part of the world (and much more so deeper south), the coloured population were regarded as slaves. Not just that, but material to be strung up from the nearest tree for any minor misdemeanour.

I am reminded that I live in a State which in 1916 hanged an elephant for killing its trainer. Lynch-mob mentality.

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I guess that Theo and Errol are kind of used to this and simply tried to walk away, muttering to Chris to ignore them. But, I’m proud to say, Chris wasn’t having any of that, yelled across to some of the others including Leo and confronted these bullies. Faced with  about seven extremely muscular and fit lads with their arms around Theo and Errol’s shoulders plus a host of their other friends (they’re not only friendly with the weights freaks!), the bullies melted away.

However, revenge is sweet, so our lads are on their guard.

Guess we’re rather proud of them. They all showed up as usual this morning for before-school weights in our cabin, and the issue was not discussed so far as we know.

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It’s not just the color issue we face here. Leo got bullied a couple of years ago for having a gay dad and a lesbian mom but responded powerfully, to my immense admiration. Jude, the only one of the young weights clan who actually is gay, has had the same treatment, but behind his back (“sniggering offstage”), because he is an extremely muscular and somewhat intimidating bodybuilder.

Well, there we go. Another typical day in the life of Tennessee… Incidentally, the tale of our own gay love, fitness regime, circus touring and all the rest (good and bad) can be found here:

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

I am pathetically short of fitness pictures featuring African Americans. Other races do appear here from time to time, more or less in proportion to their ‘population density’ on the internet. Will do better!

This blog has been hugely biased towards Caucasian  but, as I say, will try and do better in the future. And two of my best gymnasts at the gymnastics center are Af-Am and have amazing ability to learn complex routines – however, we have a rule against photography here and I don’t normally publish under-18s here either. Meanwhile, some more (hopefully) uncontroversial fitness imagery to inspire the hesitant who want to shape up really but haven’t yet quite made the effort…… you? So let’s see what I can find, including a few oriental guys and some Latinos:

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Peace, tolerance, and harmony… OK? Love, even?

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About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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One Response to Lynch Mob Mentality

  1. Platinumboy says:

    It isn’t so amazing that blacks are underrepresented in fitness photos. Fitness and bodybuilding, though not the same, are easily confused. Some, if not many, equate bodybuilding with homosexuality. Some say that is not an undeserved correlation. I have also seen it written that blacks have a deep cultural bias against homosexuality. Therefore, the dearth of blacks in fitness photos seems unsurprising. I wonder if a South Africa photographer exists who does fitness photos that include black men. This might be worth a try.

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