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Old 04-29-2013, 10:26 AM  
Planetman Planetman is offline
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Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now

By Jason Collins with Franz Lidz

This story appears in the May 6, 2013, issue of Sports Illustrated.

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.

My journey of self-discovery and self-acknowledgement began in my hometown of Los Angeles and has taken me through two state high school championships, the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight, and nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons.

I've played for six pro teams and have appeared in two NBA Finals. Ever heard of a parlor game called Three Degrees of Jason Collins? If you're in the league, and I haven't been your teammate, I surely have been one of your teammates' teammates. Or one of your teammates' teammates' teammates.

Now I'm a free agent, literally and figuratively. I've reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.

Why am I coming out now? Well, I started thinking about this in 2011 during the NBA player lockout. I'm a creature of routine. When the regular season ends I immediately dedicate myself to getting game ready for the opener of the next campaign in the fall. But the lockout wreaked havoc on my habits and forced me to confront who I really am and what I really want. With the season delayed, I trained and worked out. But I lacked the distraction that basketball had always provided.

The first relative I came out to was my aunt Teri, a superior court judge in San Francisco. Her reaction surprised me. "I've known you were gay for years," she said. From that moment on I was comfortable in my own skin. In her presence I ignored my censor button for the first time. She gave me support. The relief I felt was a sweet release. Imagine you're in the oven, baking. Some of us know and accept our sexuality right away and some need more time to cook. I should know -- I baked for 33 years.

When I was younger I dated women. I even got engaged. I thought I had to live a certain way. I thought I needed to marry a woman and raise kids with her. I kept telling myself the sky was red, but I always knew it was blue.

I realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford and now a Massachusetts congressman, told me he had just marched in Boston's 2012 Gay Pride Parade. I'm seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy. I was proud of him for participating but angry that as a closeted gay man I couldn't even cheer my straight friend on as a spectator. If I'd been questioned, I would have concocted half truths. What a shame to have to lie at a celebration of pride. I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, "Me, too."
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:02 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
Yeah, it's been just awful. Everyone is just gay bashing in this thread.

The most interesting thing to me about this whole story to me is that so many of the gay rights supporters seem pissed that there is so little outrage. I haven't seen anyone freak out over a gay athlete, but I've seen plenty of people bashing religious people for being hateful.

I support the cause, but the martyr complex is out of control. I would think that the narrative to come from this would be that a gay player came out and was almost universally accepted.

The most negative reactions so far seem to be people saying "who cares" or Mike Wallace saying that he doesn't get why a guy would want to get with another guy. I don't see anyone grabbing a rope. This is a perfect chance for gay rights activists to extend an olive branch, but it's just another occasion to throw stones, it seems. Keep wondering why the cause is progressing so slowly, though. It must be everyone else's fault, especially those piece of shit bigoted, hateful Christian mother****ers.
Fine post.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:05 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Ultra Peanut View Post
Also, I love how many people seem to be annoyed at someone talking about a fundamental facet of their lives. Oh no, a column you don't have to read that reflects how a not-insubstantial portion of the population feels about their own lives! Better mock it/say how NOT interested you are or else someone might think you're a halfway decent person.

On one hand, pffffft what's the big deal about someone's sexuality? On the other, how DARE someone acknowledge it publicly when they've felt intense social pressure to never reveal it to anyone ever and it's had huge consequences for their relationships with other people for their entire life.

Especially when their acknowledgment might give someone else the courage to live their life in a more happy, healthy manner. "Euuuuuuugh, grody!" - Straight White Male, arbiter of relevance
Seems like you're lumping only the negative comments together from various people and then applying it to all straight white men in the world.

You are just as ignorant and hateful as those you attempt to castigate when you do such things.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:26 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
This is a perfect chance for gay rights activists to extend an olive branch, but it's just another occasion to throw stones, it seems. ers.
LOL, they have no interest in "peace". They want to force their agenda on people who frankly don't like it. Nobody cares if Collins is gay or not. But dammit, you WILL hear about it and you WILL accept it! If not? Then you're an awful evil person who should be executed or jailed. Even the NFL just issued a tolerance demand on their teams yesterday.


Soon they will be added in the protected class, i.e. affirmative action and quotas. You heard it here first. Remember me when Congress starts up the debate in about 10 years.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:38 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
LOL, they have no interest in "peace". They want to force their agenda on people who frankly don't like it. Nobody cares if Collins is gay or not. But dammit, you WILL hear about it and you WILL accept it! If not? Then you're an awful evil person who should be executed or jailed. Even the NFL just issued a tolerance demand on their teams yesterday.


Soon they will be added in the protected class, i.e. affirmative action and quotas. You heard it here first. Remember me when Congress starts up the debate in about 10 years.
With the small exception of large swathes of morons that, for the sake of this discussion, I shall call "Christians". Other than that oppressed minority, you're right. There are non-christians that have a problem with homosexuality also, I suppose I shouldn't leave them out.

You'd think people that believe a sky fairy answers their prayers (and often times the prayers of people they know from internet, if what goes on here is any indication) would be more open minded. Alas, it is not so.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:40 AM   #80
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:41 AM   #81
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One thing I found interesting in this story is that Collins has a twin brother who is not gay.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:43 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by HMc View Post
With the small exception of large swathes of morons that, for the sake of this discussion, I shall call "Christians". Other than that oppressed minority, you're right. There are non-christians that have a problem with homosexuality also, I suppose I shouldn't leave them out.

You'd think people that believe a sky fairy answers their prayers (and often times the prayers of people they know from internet, if what goes on here is any indication) would be more open minded. Alas, it is not so.

It does make you sorta laugh that the very people who demand "stay outta my bedroom!" are the first ones to blabber endlessly about what they do in their bedroom.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:43 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Garcia Bronco View Post
One thing I found interesting in this story is that Collins has a twin brother who is not gay.
That's almost as crazy as having a twin that was the opposite sex
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:44 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
LOL, they have no interest in "peace". They want to force their agenda on people who frankly don't like it. Nobody cares if Collins is gay or not. But dammit, you WILL hear about it and you WILL accept it! If not? Then you're an awful evil person who should be executed or jailed. Even the NFL just issued a tolerance demand on their teams yesterday.


Soon they will be added in the protected class, i.e. affirmative action and quotas. You heard it here first. Remember me when Congress starts up the debate in about 10 years.
You nailed it!
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:44 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
What was wrong with his tweet? I don't see anything remotely offensive about that.
Me either. I love how when anyone goes against the PC crowd, he gets the 1st stone thrown his way. Like his opinion doesn't even count.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:45 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
It does make you sorta laugh that the very people who demand "stay outta my bedroom!" are the first ones to blabber endlessly about what they do in their bedroom.
Less so than the concept of a "prayer request thread", if I am to be entirely honest.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:46 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
It does make you sorta laugh that the very people who demand "stay outta my bedroom!" are the first ones to blabber endlessly about what they do in their bedroom.
He isn't talking about what he does in his bedroom, he is talking about who he is as a man. It's everyone else talking about what he does in his bedroom.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:46 AM   #88
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Me either. I love how when anyone goes against the PC crowd, he gets the 1st stone thrown his way. Like his opinion doesn't even count.
He's copping it because he's a category 10 moron and decided to publicise that fact without any real need to do so.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:47 AM   #89
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Me either. I love how when anyone goes against the PC crowd, he gets the 1st stone thrown his way. Like his opinion doesn't even count.
Eventually you're going to be unable to legally oppose gays. It will happen eventually. It'll be treated as a "hate crime" and even your religious views will be trumped by Federal laws. Chris Broussard at ESPN is in danger of losing his job now.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:49 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Carlota69 View Post
He isn't talking about what he does in his bedroom, he is talking about who he is as a man. It's everyone else talking about what he does in his bedroom.

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