Fighters Only Mag‘s John Joe O’Regan reports that in an interview for the September issue of the Brazilian monthly magazine Tatame, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva said that “a lot of people thought I was gay,” growing up. We’re not sure of the context in the interview or Silva’s tone when he said it, but it is nice that he isn’t ashamed to talk about it.
Just like Mike Tyson before him, Silva is an in-ring killer that happens to have a relatively high-pitched voice. Because of baseless notions of masculinity such a voice in a man can often be seen in societies as incongruent with being a tough guy. That was prejudice that Silva ran into as a youth, he says.
That he allowed his sister to dress him up in her clothes until he was about fourteen also contributed to people judging him, according to Silva. “We would wear a dress, put on her shoes,” he said.
“And because I am very vain about my appearance, and have a high voice, a lot of people were sure I was gay.”
After all his comments about Silva’s dapper attire, maybe Chael Sonnen underestimated Silva based on similar prejudice before getting beaten twice. Or maybe all of Chael’s comments about Silva’s pink shirts, ear-rings, tilted hats and how he and his neighbors would run Silva out of their neighborhood if they ever saw him was more of a skin-color thing.
Maybe it was about something else, who knows? Sonnen is a complex man. In any case, making fun of someone he may have thought of as a dandy didn’t work out for Chael P. Sonnen and it may not work out for you.
So kids, let this be a lesson of acceptance. Don’t make fun of your cross-dressing, high-pitched voiced classmate. It isn’t nice and they might also just grow up to be the baddest dude on the planet.