Hall of Fame NFL receiver Michael Irvin says he was an oversexed, hypermasculine womanizer with a deliberate intention to counter any notions that he might be gay like his older brother. At first rejecting homosexuality during his formative years, Irvin now advocates human rights for gays.
Appearing shirtless on the cover of Out magazine and striking a suggestively sexual pose, which is interesting in and of itself, Irvin confesses that he was ashamed of his older brother, whom he discovered wearing women’s clothing in the late 1970s. Irvin not only believed that his brother would shame the family, but he was scared that he would turn out gay as well. Therefore, Irvin became demonstrative about showing his heterosexuality and machismo, so that no one would get confused about his orientation.
“And through it all, we realized maybe some of the issues I’ve had with so many women, just bringing women around so everybody can see, maybe that’s the residual of the fear I had that if my brother is wearing ladies’ clothes, am I going to be doing that? Is it genetic?” Irvin said to Out. “I’m certainly not making excuses for my bad decisions. But I had to dive inside of me to find out why am I making these decisions, and that came up.”
One trait that the colorful, former wide receiver for the dynastic Dallas Cowboys did inherit, however, from his brother: charisma.
“He was the smartest, most charismatic man I’d ever seen in my life,” Irvin said of his older brother Vaughn, one of Irvin’s 16 siblings. Vaughn di ed of stomach cancer at age 49 in 2006.
Michael Irvin unquestionably possessed the most flavorful personality of all the Cowboys superstars of the mid-’90s. Actually, Irvin was considered vainglorious and narcissistic, often was seen draped in grandiose fur coats and bright suits, and shamelessly sampled from a large menu of female admirers and drugs with equal aplomb.
It took a while for Irvin to come to grips with his older brother. Initially, he was shaken to the core by seeing his older brother dress as a female when he was a kid, and he believes it contributed to his self-destructive behavior. Finally, Irvin leaned on Dallas-based, megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes and underwent intense introspection, taking inventory of his life’s choices, and that’s when he had his epiphany.
Irvin credits his father with helping to reconcile his feelings for his brother and, when he did, Vaughn became Michael Irvin’s hero. They remained very close until his passing. –terry shropshire