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4 Reasons April was Amazing for Gay Acceptance in Sports

4 Reasons April was Amazing for Gay Acceptance in Sports
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Times are changing for gay inclusion in sports. Here are four stories from the month of April that demonstrate gay inclusion may soon be a non-issue.

 

1) Basketball Player Jason Collins Comes Out

Washington Wizards’ 34-year-old NBA center Jason Collins has come out as gay in a piece appearing in May’s Sports Illustrated, making history as the only openly gay active male athlete playing in any of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States.

The piece opens, saying:

I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.

I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, “I’m different.” If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.

Collins goes on to say in the three page editorial that recent events reminded him of the necessity of living his life authentically:

The recent Boston Marathon bombing reinforced the notion that I shouldn’t wait for the circumstances of my coming out to be perfect. Things can change in an instant, so why not live truthfully? When I told Joe a few weeks ago that I was gay, he was grateful that I trusted him. He asked me to join him in 2013. We’ll be marching on June 8.

He also points to March’s Supreme Court hearings and how personal it felt while “nine jurists argued about my happiness and my future. Here was my chance to be heard, and I couldn’t say a thing.”

Collins, who notes he presents “against the gay stereotype,” acknowledges that loyalty to his team and not wanting to overshadow the game did play a part in the timing of his coming out. He also notes that his “double-life,” hiding his sexuality from his teammates, has isolated him. Now, though, he seems mindful he has the power to change that isolation for other gay sportsmen, closing his article with:

Some people insist they’ve never met a gay person. But Three Degrees of Jason Collins dictates that no NBA player can claim that anymore. Pro basketball is a family. And pretty much every family I know has a brother, sister or cousin who’s gay. In the brotherhood of the NBA, I just happen to be the one who’s out.

Will more players from across the major leagues come out? Now that the taboo is broken, it certainly seems like change could be in the air.

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43 comments

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5:08AM PDT on May 7, 2013

ty

3:25AM PDT on May 6, 2013

Thanks Steve.

4:01PM PDT on May 4, 2013

A SHOWER of green stars to Lyn B, who quietly and truthfully expresses the WHY so many of you ''Christians"" whine about when you insist that same-sex couples are ''jamming their lifestyle down our throats!"

3:58PM PDT on May 4, 2013

When the bible bangers stop insisting that the entire world must live by their hypocritical rules...that's when!

3:11PM PDT on May 4, 2013

When will the time for sexual preference not become a major media event?

3:48AM PDT on May 4, 2013

Good for Nike! Really! It's good to see players feeling that they can be who they really are without fear.

And Carol M, it WASN'T "made known that Tim Tebow is an Xian" he flouted it on the playing field. Rubbed in it everyone's face in inappropriate ways DURING the game. So get over it. No one asked Tebow to hide that he was Xian, they just expected him not to turn his religion into game-time theater.


1:22AM PDT on May 3, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

12:51AM PDT on May 3, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

12:16AM PDT on May 3, 2013

Additionally, and I've posted this before, it's also all the little things straight people take for granted like being able to walk hand in hand with your partner possibly also along with your child/children without being beaten up or killed for doing so.

We come out so we can have the same types of pictures on our desks/walls at work; pictures of us on vacation with our partner or our partner and our children or dogs or whatever!
So we can safely come to the holiday party with our significant other/partner/husband/wife.
So we can get married if we love that deeply.
So we can have a family if that's what we truly want.
So we can have equal rights when it comes to the law.
So we can be in a hospital and NOT have our life partner denied the right to see me, to help me, to love me. To have that same partner be able to make life/death decisions instead of strangers or worse, family who Hate me!
So we can go to a restaurant, a sporting event and again NOT DIE or be beaten up for doing so.
And yes, it's STILL that dangerous for all of us, LGBTQ's, JUST depending on who we sit next to, what city/state/country we live in.
And I'm not talking even talking about PDA's (public displays of affection). I'm just saying holding hands. Now mind you, ALL of us LGBTQ's have to put up with hetereosexual PDA's ALL THE TIME! Sometimes some of the grossest stuff imaginable!

None of us want to "flaunt" our sex lives. What we want is equality.

12:11AM PDT on May 3, 2013

This post is in response to "why must sexual preferences be shared".
I have shared most of this before but obviously it bears repeating.


I agree that we shouldn't have to tell or share all of our "business" although that's EXACTLY what Everyone does anyway, currently via social media. BUT the reality is that if people stay silent, nothing changes.

The point of celebrating people with high visibility (actors, athletes, politicians, etc) coming out is that it helps to put a face to the label, to the idea or concept. It helps humanize the label.
It starts to show that although someone says that they don't know anyone that's gay or bi or fill in the blank, that, Yes, they Do know someone and maybe today that someone is only on the tv but that may make them realize that they Do know someone in "real" life.

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