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Old 04-29-2013, 11:26 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, 02:42 PM   #271
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:51 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by nychief View Post
Did you mean to write this?
Yes. Do you disagree?
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:53 PM   #273
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So, all the people claiming that there are 29 (or whatever) states with laws on the books stating that it is legal to fire a homosexual just for being homosexual are wrong, correct?
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:56 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
So, all the people claiming that there are 29 (or whatever) states with laws on the books stating that it is legal to fire a homosexual just for being homosexual are wrong, correct?
Of course. There simply aren't laws that prohibit it just as there aren't laws that prohibit firing people for being straight.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:59 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
Of course. There simply aren't laws that prohibit it just as there aren't laws that prohibit firing people for being straight.
Interesting, but not surprising. So, I guess I fail to see what all the wailing was about.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:08 PM   #276
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As someone said above, there is TONS of sloppy thinking and writing on this subject based on how this issue makes people FEEL. Get a grip and divorce your emotions from this a bit and engage some of the well-articulated legal arguments that are being made here. The legal discussion is actually fascinating...and worth having.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:10 PM   #277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Interesting, but not surprising. So, I guess I fail to see what all the wailing was about.
It's time we get these non existent laws off the books.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:11 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by dallaschiefsfan View Post
As someone said above, there is TONS of sloppy thinking and writing on this subject based on how this issue makes people FEEL. Get a grip and divorce your emotions from this a bit and engage some of the well-articulated legal arguments that are being made here. The legal discussion is actually fascinating...and worth having.
If people would do this before ramming poorly-written legislation down the pike, we might actually find that the unintended consequences aren't so severe. As it is, too many of our laws wind up giving us more of what we are trying to eliminate.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:24 PM   #279
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Yes.
I agree.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:25 PM   #280
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I haven't read the thread at all, but am I correct in assuming Pat is employing the "gay people actually have the exact same rights as straight people" defense?
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:30 PM   #281
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I haven't read the thread at all, but am I correct in assuming Pat is employing the "gay people actually have the exact same rights as straight people" defense?
Defense against what?
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:35 PM   #282
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Defense against what?
I will take that as bullzeye.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:37 PM   #283
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:43 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I haven't read the thread at all, but am I correct in assuming Pat is employing the "gay people actually have the exact same rights as straight people" defense?
Is this the part where pat is 100% correct in his statement, supports gay marriage just as you do, yet is somehow still the bad guy in your universe?
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:46 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I haven't read the thread at all, but am I correct in assuming Pat is employing the "gay people actually have the exact same rights as straight people" defense?
Yes, he's saying that according to written law, gay people have the same rights. He is saying that the laws are not written to include situations that may benefit or determent the gay man. He is also saying that legal discrimination still goes on.

Is that a correct summary patt?
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