I have to be honest. I watch MTV's Catfish show faithfully. So I know that a common theme with the people who "catfish" unsuspecting internet users is insecurity.
One was overweight. One was jealous that her boyfriend wanted another girl. One was transgender. And one was gay.
And all of these things put into motion an elaborate hoax of false perception in exchange for acceptance. So could it be possible that Manti Te'o was involved in the detailed and highly sophisticated "deceased girlfriend" hoax that made a nation feel for him and undoubtedly fueled the football star's already huge reputation? Did he do it to feel somehow accepted?
It's possible. We could have been reversed Catfish'd.
But the question of why he would create a fake girlfriend, tell us all she was sick with leukemia, and publicize her death is racking our brains. And we think we might have found the cause.
Manti Te'o might be gay.
Cyd Zielger at Outsports also raised the possibility that Te'o continued with the hoax to cover up his sexuality, citing the bravado and fame that comes with being one of the most famous football players in college. If the stigma of being gay could hurt his career, is it too far fetched that he would create a fake girlfriend to curb the rumors so he could continue with his success? No. Could he have killed her off with leukemia so that he wouldn't have to ask the questions of why no one met his girlfriend? Definitely. Could the trauma and publicity surrounding her "death" make Teo not want to date for a while, answering questions to why he doesn't have a female around? We say yes.
It makes sense that Manti Te'o would make up such an elaborate scheme to save what he loves the most...football. He understands that the sport is still conservative, even with the current climate of tolerance in the country. But what would that mean for Te'o, football, or homosexuality if he was in fact gay?
Realizing that Te'o was so afraid that he wouldn't progress in football that he engaged the nation in a lie that snowballed out of control could certainly do wonders for tolerance in this country. We have to start addressing the fear that drives so many people to make up alternate lives or even hurt themselves to avoid the scrutiny of naturally feeling the way they do. It's sad that it would take Te'o's situation to change our perception of homosexuality, but if it's a start, I ain't mad at it.
Remember when Malik and Derwin found out their teammate was gay on BET's The Game? Remember how disgusted Malik was? The writers of the show didn't make that up...that's really how all of that would go down! If Te'o was really gay this could mean BIG things for the perception of hunky football players and the bravado that comes along with it.
Men on the down-low:
If famous and revered football players can be openly gay, doesn't that mean manly-men can be too? There's an epidemic in communities, especially black communities that the archetype "man" can't be gay. He has to dress like a girl. He has to be flamboyant. Essentially, he has to be appear to be "womanly." But if Te'o can be both gay, muscular, a celebrated football player, and accepted, can't other men do the same thing?
While Te'o has vehemently denied that he had anything to do with the hoax, I'm a little skeptical. And while it's not confirmed if he is gay or not, I'm kind of hoping he is. At the very least it will explain why he fabricated such a lie. And most importantly, it'll set us on a path to start addressing the real issue with homosexuality in this country. And that, my friends, is tolerance.
We should all just take some words of advice from Honey Boo Boo...
Christina Coleman is the News and Politics Editor at GlobalGrind. Prior to this she was a science writer. That explains her NASA obsession. She crushes on Anthony Bourdain. Nothing explains that.
Follow her on Twitter @ChrissyCole