Saturday, May 4, 2013

They Kept Calling Me Gay... So I Could No Longer Play

I've never told anyone this, but one of the reasons I quit playing basketball was because I wanted to escape the stigma of being called "gay". From ages 8-17, I was an athlete; a superstar athlete. I was a girl who looked and played like a boy, and everyone thought I was gay. So, I'm finally setting the record straight...

I'm not gay. However, as a young girl struggling with an identity crisis, I almost believed that I was... because people insisted on asking. I liked boys, but not many boys liked me. Again, because I looked like them. I was pretty, but unattractive, mostly due to my wardrobe malfunctions. I hated wearing dresses and heels. I still do. I love(d) sports, and could care less about anything else. I thrived on being in the spotlight... and I didn't realize how much I wanted the attention until someone recently told me that I have only child syndrome (selfish, bossy, easily angered and more). More than one person, actually. I refuted this claim until I thought back to my days on the court, wearing my knee-high socks and Nike headbands. I couldn't play if I didn't look good... So, I guess I'm a natural-born attention seeker, and that probably means I'm gay. 

Is Jason Collins an attention seeker for wanting to be the FIRST NBA player to announce his "secret" lifestyle? 

Is Brittney Griner an attention seeker because she made her announcement shortly after Jason Collins made his? Where's her Sports Illustrated cover? Why isn't she a "pioneer"? Is it because the gay-o-meter had already counted her "out"? She wears bow ties and she can dunk; she was automatically gay and there was no need for her to announce it. Right?

The Bible says many things about homosexuality, but this isn't a religious argument about homosexuality; this is an argument about equality... "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal." BS! If we're all equal, then why couldn't I be the first girl to play in the NBA? My "American" dream was shattered, but luckily I had a plan B. I could still become a productive member of society by doing something else that I loved: writing.

When I was a freshman in college I decided to write a narrative essay on Sheryl Swoopes and her decision to "not be some sort of hero." My English professor read my first draft and forced me to change my topic. "This is an offensive topic that may offend some of your classmates. I strongly encourage you to choose another topic." That's exactly what she marked on my cover page, and I still have this essay in a folder on my bookshelf...

Offend them how? By sharing insight on one of my favorite basketball players? She assumed that spreading the news about my favorite basketball player's "coming out party" was guaranteed to hurt someone's feelings. My first college essay was rejected. Pun intended.

"Male athletes of my caliber probably feel like they have a lot more to lose than gain [by coming out]. I don't agree with that. To me, the most important thing is happiness." - Swoopes 

So, Jason Collins, are you happy? 

You wanna know the TOP reason why I quit basketball... because I would never be able to compete with guys on a professional level. No matter how much I developed my skills to be better than all the cocky, male MVPs, I was still a girl... who everybody thought was gay.

According to most people, ALL homosexuals are attention seekers who want to be praised for their courage and bravery. If this is true, then why are most homosexuals afraid to address their same-sex preference in both intimate and public settings? Why would it be so hard for an attention seeker to seek attention? Jason Collins is a 34-year-old NBA center. He's black. And he's gay. What did he set out to prove? That it's still a man's world, even if he's a homosexual. 

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*