NCAA Division 1 Basketball Player Comes Out as Gay

Comments

1
Until people are not discriminated against because of sexual preferences, it is very important for these people to come out. Until sexual preferences are all considered normal, announcing them makes them more normal and helps others. Any kid who is being bullied in school about their sexuality, whether based in truth or not, will be helped by this. It is only because of these announcements, gay characters on television, and other newsworthy events, that most young people care less about sexual orientation than ever before in our modern world. Please keep coming out. Heterosexuality should not be considered the only normal.
2
Saying you're gay intrudes on their little tiny world of neat, black and white expectations.
3
It's the top headline on Sports Illustrated. Obviously somebody cares! LOL
4
"This is the happiest I have ever been in my 22 Years of living...No more HIDING!!!...Just want to live life happy and play the sport that I love." -Gordon

This is the only answer you need. When people don't feel the weight of cultural pressure keeping them closeted long enough that coming out brings them enormous relief, it will stop being news.

Coming out is a big deal because being out is still a big deal.
5
More rightwinger aneurysms, please!
6
Awesome for this kid, and Umass is hugely supportive. Nice to see.
7
This response used to really frustrate me, but I realized that it just means they KNOW they have lost the argument. They know their feelings on the matter are nothing more than bigotry. Since "your sexual preference is wrong and gross" lost the battle, all they have left is "who cares!!!" Its hilarious how much these folks who just "don't care" and think its "not a big deal" are so enraged about HOW NOT BIG OF A DEAL IT IS. Clowns will be clowns.
8
I class the following two opinions together:
"Why do people need to make a big deal out of telling people they're gay?"
"Why do we need laws telling businesses not to discriminate?"
I wish we lived in a world where we didn't need to make a big deal about those things, but sadly we're not there yet.
9
I second what @5 said.
10
@7 - I came here to type out pretty much exactly what you just said.

When I saw the "here are some idiotic comments” lead-in. I was expecting much, much worse. Setting aside the irony of someone caring enough to post a “who cares?” comment, I see such reactions as a sign of progress. The Derrick Gordons of the world are never going to receive a hero’s welcome from some folks, so a harmless “who cares?” reaction is pretty much optimal for this early part of the 21st century.
11
Keep coming out, fellas! These guys are sooooo scared that they line up behind the wrong side of history. Oops
12
Why do gay people have to keep announcing what professional sports they play. I mean if they want to put on uniforms and chase a ball around, fine. But I don't need to know what they do in their own stadium. Sports, yech.
13
Apart from the expected and obligatory (closeted?) "not bigot" comments ("Who cares?!"), I'm particularly delighted that all the male athletes coming out are large, imposing, strong men. That has just got to fuck with the bigot brain, even on a subconscious level. One more blow to their carefully constructed/compartmentalized view of homosexuality.

(And that's not even addressing the arguably even more visible and obvious issue: these athletes, the first to visibly, publicly and prominently come out in major sports -- Jason Collins, Michael Sam, and now Mr. Gordon -- are all black men. That adds yet another wrinkle to this trend/phenomenon. I'm sure it will have an impact on the historical telling of these stories, and sociologists can probably have a field day discussing and assessing its import for society at large. And then the psychology -- what else is going on in the tiny, under-utilized brains of all the bigots out there? They must be so confused.)
14
Reading the Out Sports article and watching the video where Mr. Gordon speaks for himself, I was struck by his descriptions of the rapid change of heart and shame of his teammates at the bullying they had put him through. Being confronted by the out person, as always, is what seems to change people's hearts. (There are plenty of callous people who react the opposite way -- anger, accusation, and reprisal -- but those people are heartless psychopaths.)

And the description in the article about the "locker room culture" -- joking about penis size, girlfriends, mothers, etc. -- rings so true. As a male who played high school sports, I can attest that, for better and often worse, juvenile males will be juvenile males. (I would note that some of the antics that go on in male locker rooms are, ironically, what would be traditionally described as "gay" -- towel slapping, wrestling, other pseudo-sexual antics and prurient, puerile jokes, etc.) I'm sure a college locker room is a bit more mature and thoughtful, but probably not by much.

But there is a lot of truth to the notion that, regardless of the level of competition, the jesting between teammates is frequently just that. What gets lost is that the "jokes" can cut deep, especially where there is truth to it. It's no surprise that Mr. Gordon was shamed by his teammates. And it's no surprise that they quickly realized how deeply they had hurt their teammate and felt incredibly guilty about it. That Mr. Gordon was targeted and isolated (teammates refusing to shower with him when there were rumors that he was gay) I suspect is less a product of homophobia, per se (I realize that's difficult to distinguish -- their actions were homophobic) as much as it is young, straight men saving face in front of one another -- the proverbial mob mentality. "Oh, none of those other guys want to shower with him? Well I'd better go along with the ostracizing lest I be teased or singled out as well." I think that behavior is as much, if not more about taking teasing/bullying too far and the herd behavior as it is motivated by genuine animus.

Which brings me back to the original point: once the person is out, it's a lot harder to actually mistreat that person because, I think and hope, the majority of people won't accept that. (I realize that wasn't the case in the past, and it's probably a lot truer the younger cohorts skew.) It's also to remember that while these young men are "jocks," they are receiving college educations. One would think that they are being exposed to ideas that the world is a diverse place that requires scrupulous examination and thoughtfulness. And I think that's why college athletics is actually the perfect place and environment for gay athletes to start coming out. Hopefully every college athletic program will be as accepting and supportive as Missouri and UMass seem to have been. And then hopefully that trickles down to public youth sports in high school and below.
15
Some of the people making these comments might be less homophobic and more behind the times. "Who the heck cares?" was a progressive and welcoming response back when the expected response was, "Get away from the normal people, perv. Also, you are fired and expelled." The gay person coming out was expected to be relieved that there was no reaction at all, so this is a very emphatic no reaction at all.

But the baseline has shifted. Now no negative reaction is what is expected of good people. Now, people should acknowledge that young people need gay role models, and perhaps our finest athletes, scholars and artists would do.
16
There's an interesting part of the ESPNW article that speaks to the "divided locker room" argument/line of bullshit:

"'Before DG even said anything [at the team meeting], I could sense that a weight was lifted from him,' sophomore center Tyler Bergantino said. 'He looked like a different person -- happier, stress-free, like that was the real him. Before, when he would walk into the locker room, there was this cloud around him, like you couldn't quite get to him.'

Gordon's teammates had felt that distance, a wall they couldn't explain . . . . Now, it all made sense."

http://espn.go.com/espnw/news-commentary…
17
I've had so many straight people complain to me about why do gay people need to "come out" and be so public -- how it's no one's business what people do in their bedrooms. And yet, these same people have photos of their opposite-sex partners or spouses, they talk about planning their weddings, or what they and their spouse did last weekend.

No one is describing the intimate details of what they're doing in the bedroom. But somehow it's implied if it's a same-sex partner and not if it's an opposite-sex partner.
18
Out and proud gays in college and pro sports. The planet still turns in its axis and the sun still rises in the east. It really does get better, kids.
19
@12 swoon
20
@12 Exactly !
21
Ophian @12: Je t'aime beaucoup, mon chapeau rose.