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4 Reasons April was Amazing for Gay Acceptance in Sports

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3) Female Basketball Star Comes Out (And The Media Shrugs)

She’s one of women’s basketball’s most formidable players, but when Brittney Griner came out on Wednesday of last week, the media barely managed to muster a whisper.

Griner discussed her sexuality, never a secret but until now not spoken of on the media stage, in a Sports Illustrated interview, and you could be forgiven for missing the moment. For that reason, I’ve added emphasis:

SI Video host Maggie Gray: “Another big topic in sports recently is sexuality, especially with the NFL. In football it was rumored that maybe one or more players were going to come out — that would become huge news in the sports world and in general. In female sports, women’s sports, in the WNBA, players have already come out, and it’s really accepted. Why is there a difference between men and women in that issue?”

Brittney Griner: “I really couldn’t give an answer on why that’s so different. Being one that’s out, it’s just being who you are. Again, like I said, just be who you are. Don’t worry about what other people are going to say, because they’re always going to say something, but, if you’re just true to yourself, let that shine through. Don’t hide who you really are.”

The contrast between the breathless reporting surrounding Jason Collins and Alan Gendreau’s stories and Brittney Griner’s shows the odd frenzy around gay sportsmen that perhaps speaks to why until now male homosexuality and being part of t0p-flight sports have been treated like oil and water. This, even while a number of top-flight sportswomen, Sheryl Swoopes and soccer’s Megan Rapinoe for instance, have been free to saunter out of the closet without fanfare for quite a while now.

Griner is still making headlines though, but for different reasons: the Phoenix Mercury has chosen her as a top pick in the WNBA draft and she has earned herself a lucrative sponsorship deal…

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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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Steve Williams Steve Williams is a passionate supporter of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) rights, human... more
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