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Jason Collins Queers it Up

April 30, 2013

(Photo Credit via blogs.citypages.com)

Yesterday, Jason Collins, an NBA role player who has made his rounds around the league, jumping from team to team, came out in heartfelt piece via Sports Illustrated. As the first male active player in any major league sport to come out, you can imagine it was a pretty big deal. People on my Facebook feed whom I know could care less about sports were even talking about it and a day later, folks are still buzzing about it.

But an important point that needs to be made is that Brittney Griner, a professional athlete who is taking the basketball world by storm, came out last week, too, and it barely made a blip on most people’s radar. Folks on  my newsfeed who are posting articles about Jason Collins’ coming out weren’t talking about Brittney Griner. I found the dichotomy to be fascinating and altogether unsurprising.

I could wax poetic about the multitude of reasons as to why this may be [the underlying assumptions that many female athletes are queer/that they’re trying to be ‘like men’; mainstream media’s lack of coverage of women’s sports in general; etc], and maybe I will in the coming days, but for now, I leave you with some rather interesting pieces I’ve seen pop up on Brittney Griner, Jason Collins, and being LGBTQ:

  • Brittney Griner, you are amazing (via The Advocate)
  • Oh, you’re gay, Brittney? Cool story, yo (via New York Times)
  • Why doesn’t anyone care that Brittney Griner’s a lesbian? (via GLAAD)
  • Female athletes have been coming out as lesbian for years (via Buzzfeed)
  • The queering of professional athletes (via Grantland)
  • Kobe, Stern, Obama, and others express their support for Collins (via Ball Don’t Lie)
  • Collins’ Wizards teammates show their support for him, aren’t douchey (via Washington Post)
  • A list of super gay things Jason Collins has done (via Buzzfeed)
  • Nike wants to get with the gays, y’all (via Queerty)

And if Collins’ piece was tl:dr for you, you can find a summed-up version of what you need to know about the dude here.

Anyway, all of this isn’t to diminish what Jason Collins has done but merely to contextualize him coming out. What he and Brittney Griner, and those before them, did is nothing short of courageous, but we also need to recognize that our work toward creating a world where an athlete (of any gender) coming out shouldn’t be a big deal is still a long ways away. But we’re getting there, step by step.

And with that, I leave you with this:

You tell it, Dumbledore. (via George Takei's Facebook)

You tell it, Dumbledore. (via George Takei’s Facebook)

 

-Joyce

 

 

 

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