Great writing and reporting by Mary Rogan for GQ:
Brian Burke isn’t just a legend of the NHL. He’s a fists-up, knock-your-teeth-out gladiator. But when his hockey-loving son came out of the closet and died soon after, he was thrust into a strange new role: advocate for gays in a macho sports culture. He’s no cheerleader — he looks like he hates every minute of it — but locker-room homophobia may have finally met its match.
Heartbreaking and heartwarming. (Via Jim Coudal.)
Really great writing seems so rare these days. Telling a great story about a great subject with great characters requires a lot of attention to detail, to pacing, to stage setting and to revealing the narrative.
I cried a lot reading this. It is not an easy story. Great ones rarely are. But it does demonstrate how wonderfully important things can be done by regular people when circumstances knock.
People with courage and strong convictions can do a lot in this world. Even if sometimes it takes a tragedy to start the journey. Even if they have to go second.
And Mary Rogan has done something really special by pulling the story of this courageous man and his father so close to the heart. We can all learn something from this essay.