Monday, January 21, 2008

Gay Gladiator Watch: "Ice" Comes Out

"Touch my Melissa CD and I'll break your neck, twerp."

When former American Gladiator "Zap" told Maxim magazine earlier this month that "half the team was lesbians at one time," the world replied with a resounding "duh." Okay, the world didn't seem to react at all, but had it done so, you can safely assume the response would have been split between "duh" and a puzzled "only half?"

Last week, one of those lesbian gladiators announced herself on Access Hollywood, and it was none other than Lori "Ice" Fetrick, who once appeared on an episode of Ellen. Fetrick told the program that she has been gay since she was 18 years old, by which she probably meant she realized she was gay at 18. Though you never know with a gladiator; she might have graduated high school and decided to become a lesbian the way some people decide to become a mechanic. Gladiators are, after all, a special breed, and can become anything they want simply by setting their minds to it. (I read somewhere that Hawk actually turned himself into a hawk.)

About her sexuality, Fetrick said, "It was something that when I was on the 'Gladiators' I never talked about because I was in the height of my fame. You can't talk about it just like everybody says right now, you can't talk about being gay when you are in the height of your glory." By which she probably meant -- well, I have no fucking clue what she meant. I've read that quote several times and I'm still lost. Words like "gladiators" and "height of your glory" simply don't compute. Neither does the notion that Ice's sexuality was unknown to her adoring public. I was in grade school at the height of her fame, oblivious to the concept of homosexuality, oblivious even to my own glaring homosexuality, and yet somehow I knew Ice was a lesbian of Gertrude Steinian proportions. She was my favorite gladiator because of it, and the reason I chose this photo to accompany a previous post.

But in her Access Hollywood interview, Fetrick coyly suggests that some of her fans knew she was gay. Remembering the fun she had with fellow gladiators, she said, "Nitro and myself used to have contests on the road." Which means you weren't imagining things when you thought they were both flirting with Ellen Morgan.

To catch up with Ice, you can visit her official website.

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