Chris Kluwe, named Salon’s “Sexiest Man of the Year,” admits that in high school he wasn’t above gay slurs. “Gay” and “fag” were part of his vocabulary. So how did he become a gay sex symbol and a face of the those against the marriage amendment? He makes it all sound like a very natural development: “My life philosophy has been to treat others the way you want to be treated…I was asked to help out and it’s a way better use of my time than sitting on the couch and playing video games.”

More tidbits from the interview: Even though he was a homophobic teen he was always more of a geek than “a popular jock;” Kluwe was a huge fan of science fiction and loved talking video games, and he credits online gaming message boards with having given him the rhetorical skills to stand up for gay rights; and he likes the idea of exploring other political causes after football, but he really lights up at the thought of owning a miniature gaming store in Southern California.