In the locker room, the word fag is tossed around jokingly between teammates.  What they do not realize is that among them is someone struggling to accept that he is different, that he is gay.  

It is one thing being gay – it is totally another thing playing a testosterone-driven sport, being the star quarterback, and being gay.

Bobby Framingham, star quarterback, who dreams of playing for Stanford, is an all around good guy; handsome, popular and gay. No one knows yet and he is not ready to tell anyone, either. Bobby realizes that there are a lot of issues and angles that need to be worked out before coming out. There is a matter of family, friends, teammates, and, of course, Carrie, the girl who is his best friend and who wants more than he can give.

There is one problem, an over-zealous student reporter that would love to do a story on him coming out – and who outs him sooner than what Bobby wishes.  As if being a teenager isn’t hard enough, how is an outed star athlete going to handle such public exposure?  

As to date, while there are many famous gay people in the arts, there are no openly gay people playing football, baseball, or basketball. Two people admitted to be being gay but it was long after their retirement. So many reasons to keep quiet – fear of being cut, hostile locker rooms, loss of fans. However, the world is changing and our sports culture needs to change, too.  

Hopefully, we will see more young gay athletes challenge homophobic views held by others on who should be involved in sports.  One line in the book that stands out is “being homophobic is just as bad as being racist.”

OUT OF THE POCKET is a good coming-of-age story with an honest and realistic portrayal of all of the character’s reactions.  I think that it would make a good addition to GLBTQ collections in both public and school libraries, as it is truly a great example of finding yourself no matter what your sexual orientation/experiences may be.

You will find yourself rooting for Bobby just as I did.