As always, Bild chose a juicy part. (They simply cannot stop publishing, can they? And I simply cannot stop reading, can I?) This time it is from the chapter entitled Philipp, I Am So In Love With You. What I find interesting is that right at the beginning Bild makes an announcement that they publish this bit as it has been authorized by Lahm and FC Bayern. I find it rather funny after the whole “Oh my gosh, Lahm’s book is awful” thing. I also understand why they would seek Lahm’s authorization (my note: it still seems somewhat strange), but what does it have to do with FC Bayern? Just because Lahm plays for FC Bayern, they cannot publish his words about homosexuality because of FC Bayern? If any of you out there could make that clearer for me, I would really appreciate it.
However, I definitely agree with Bild on one thing: we have not yet seen Philipp talking about such private stuff as this. That is true. He has always tried to balance his private and public life, and I respect his choice. I think he is completely right about that. Nevertheless, I remember him saying at one point that he understands that people would like to know something more personal about football players, something more personal than their career. And I respect him even more for that.
I admit that I am a bit curious, too. *ashamed* But I have to say that I have never wanted Philipp to reveal more than he wanted to. So, I am totally cool with whatever he decides to share with his fans.
Whoever enters ‘Philipp Lahm’ into the Google search engine will get a number of suggestions for the desired term. Under my name, the second suggested combination is ‘Philipp Lahm gay’.
I just checked it! It is true! Wow…
First of all, I am not gay. I did not marry my wife Claudia just for the appearance, and I don’t have a friend in Cologne, with whom I really live.
But I know these stories. Apparently, there is a man in Cologne who runs around, telling everyone, who wants to hear it, that he is with me. That alone I find strange, but what I find even stranger is that the story can circulate around and can be found over and over in numerous speculations and assumptions.
Those speculations don’t bother me. I have nothing against homosexuality, and I don’t find homosexuality reprehensible. But I am always amazed that such people, who start circulating a story like that, have so much influence on the public opinion. ‘Philipp Lahm is gay’… Is there really nothing more important?
I have also heard that I would regularly fly to Cologne to meet my friend and so on and so forth. Eventually, it has reached a point where I felt I would like to make it clear that it is not true.
In the next passage, which appears somewhere in the same chapter, Lahm continues:
I would not advise any football player to come out. I would be afraid that something might happen to him as it did to an English professional Justin Fashanu, who had been so driven into a corner after coming out that he eventually committed suicide.
This brings back the story from two or so months ago when one article had a sensationalist title. There were people asking what right he had to give such advice. And I remember writing back then that Philipp did not give any kind of advice because there was nothing in the article that would suggest that. In the light of the passage above, I still think that Lahm does not give any kind of advice. In my opinion, what he means is that he would not take a responsibility of saying something like that to a person. He says, “I would be afraid.” He would be afraid of causing somebody such distress that a person would end his own life. I stand by what I said in the past. He does not advise against it. He simply states that it would be difficult. Whether or not somebody wants to come out, it is his/her choice and not that of Lahm. I do not think he argues against it or for it, as it has to be decided by a person in question.
Then Bild cites Lahm’s story from his private life:
One day the door bell rings. I think that it’s a buddy because very few people know my address, and my name is neither at the entrance, nor is it on my door. I open the door. Outside, there is a guy whom I have never seen before.
‘Yes?’ I say surprised. But the guy doesn’t say anything. He looks at me with his eyes wide open as he would observe an apparition. ‘What do you want?’ I ask again. A strange feeling comes over me. The guy seems a bit fishy to me. He is completely silent and just stares at me.
Then he wants to say something, but he can’t produce a sentence. Instead, he puts a letter into my hand. I see that this guy has tears in his eyes. Then he tries again, and I hear this sentence, ‘Philipp, I’m so in love with you. May I come in?’
I quickly close the door and turn the key. My heart beats violently. ‘Go away’, I say through the closed door, ‘or I’ll call the police immediately.’
Through the peephole, I see that the guy is staring in disbelief at my front door, apparently unsure as to what he should do next. I am highly irritated. Is the man harmless? Or does he have a knife somewhere or another weapon? Does he want to force his way in or does he care at all?
I’ve already got a cell phone in my hand to call 112* when the man in front of my door suddenly comes back to reality. His body tightens, he turns on his heel and disappears into the hallway.
I’m beside myself. How weird was that? How did the guy find out my address? I realize that I still have the letter in my hand. I open it. In the letter, there is the same thing the guy just told me in addition to some baffling information: he came from Düsseldorf. It wasn’t by chance that he stopped by, he has researched, as a private detective does, where I live, when I’m at home. That throws me completely off balance.
*it’s like 911 in the US; an emergency call
In the next passage appearing somewhere in the same chapter:
Suddenly, I see the whole ‘neighborhood’ idea in a different light. Is the guy going to come back? Is he going to tell others where I live? I am anything but scared, but I am cautious. And even if my uninvited visitor was completely harmless: I don’t feel like dealing with weirdos who are in love.
Although the incident doesn’t happen again, I decide to move.
(my translation, © unavis)
I would be so freaked out, as I think it is very creepy. But at the same time, I feel sad for that person. Perhaps, his inability to even utter a sentence was due to him being star-struck. Not to mention the fact that he was, probably, really fascinated by Philipp, which is understandable. There are many things about Philipp that one can find attractive. However, I do understand Lahm, too. It is rather unsettling, and he made the right decision. I can definitely imagine Philipp thinking, “Noooo.”
PS.: On a side note, Philipp is supposed to meet with the DFB tomorrow.
PPS.: when and if leaving a comment, make sure that the language is appropriate. Any defamatory and insulting comments will be deleted.
EDIT: I have started translating the book. The first part of the 1st chapter has already been posted here.