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NBA’s Jason Collins Comes Out
Gay culture could be viewed as a map with explored and unexplored territory. The first people to admit they were openly gay initially included artists, musicians, and other people who were already so openly eccentric that homosexuality was easier to openly admit. As gay rights and respect for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community spread, the darker areas of the map were starting to get filled in too: sometimes a Catholic religious figure will admit to being gay, sometimes an evangelical Christian – usually a brave act on their part, considering the criticism they receive. The military only recently dissolved their “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Another last bastion against open homosexuality is U.S. professional sports. NBA center Jason Collins has recently announced himself to be homosexual, the first male athlete in the U.S. to do so.
“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.”
“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.”
He also said that “it takes an enormous amount of energy to guard such a big secret,” and said his decision to out himself relates to the Boston Marathon bombings.
“I’ve endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie. I was certain that my world would fall apart if anyone knew,” he said. “And yet when I acknowledged my sexuality I felt whole for the first time. I still had the same sense of humor, I still had the same mannerisms and my friends still had my back.”
The entire editorial is in Sports Illustrated. Since sports athletes are often viewed as models or heroes by young boys – along with soldiers, and other figures – as more and more sports figures admit to being homosexual, it could change the way children view homosexuality, thus continuing to change the mindset of the upcoming generations. Since a culture of tolerance already has been established through the legal system and amidst the intellectual vanguard, it is possible for even the military, sports, and religious figures to admit they are homosexuals. The direction our culture is taking looks like a fated certainty.