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“I’m Coming Out”

Posted by purplemary54 on April 29, 2013

I’ve mentioned my casual sports fandom on a few occasions. (Niners!!!! . . . Sorry.  Sometimes that just slips out.)  So when it was announced today that NBA player Jason Collins had officially come out of the closet, I cheered a little.  There’s been a number of retired athletes coming out over the years, but Collins represents the first active player in one of the major team sports to openly acknowledge his sexuality.  (My response is a little tempered because I’ve never heard of the guy before, but then again, I’m not a basketball fan.)  Professional sports has long been one of the last bastions of the homophobes.  To have the walls torn down, just a little bit, is a wonderful thing.

Of course, it’ll be really nice when something like this isn’t headline news anymore.  When openly LGBTQ athletes are common.  When nobody’s sexuality is something that gets commented on.  I say, the more the merrier.  The more public figures who come out, the more acceptable it becomes.  I know there are people who say that the “gay lifestyle” should never be acceptable, but tolerance of the wonderful diversity found in the human race is something to strive for.  (I’m also waiting for someone to explain what the “gay lifestyle” is.  It implies sexual orientation is a choice, and everyone should know by now that it damn well isn’t.  Yeah, there’s gay culture, but there’s also Christian culture and goth culture and Mexican culture, and so on.  What’s the problem with culture?  I like culture.)

Diana Ross didn’t really sing this song as an anthem for folks who come out of the closet, but it’s become one.  And it’s such an empowering song, too.  “I want the world to know, got to let it show.”  Last week, recent WNBA draftee Brittney Griner also came out, and although her announcement made the news, it was more for the lack of hoopla surrounding it.  It’s a bigger deal that she can dunk as well as many male basketball players.  (I’m not going to get into what it says that female athletes of her stature and skill are expected to be lesbians, while manly male athletes are supposed to be virile and straight, or the nasty undercurrent of misogyny there.)  In an interview with Sports Illustrated, she said, “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.”

That’s the one message I hope everyone hears.

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