… And also I recognize Women’s Basketball super-star Brittany Griner below.
Major LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) news was made last month when Jason Collins became the firstactive (non-retired) professional among the major four American Men’s pro sports (Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey) to come out publically as a gay man. Link to the Sports Illustrated online article. There was a major media flurry, and like always I like to wait for a month for the hoopla to die down so I can offer an additional thoughtful analysis. Here are my five hopeful long term ramifications of Jason’s coming out:
1. This sends the strong message to our LGBT youth that they can become anything they want and have the talent to do. LGBT youth do not need to be “pigeon holed” into careers stereotypically attributed to gay men and lesbians, but instead can pursue any career they want, including pro sports. And perhaps some day we will have a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender President of the United States!
2. This could help curb gay bullying and gay bashing. Bullies should think twice about picking on an LGBT person; perhaps their gay 7 foot tall, 240 pound muscular friend will come to their bullied victim’s defense. Not all gay guys are 120 pound slim guys. See link to my most recent blog on bullying which contains additional links to blogs and resources.
3. This will help pro sports become much more open to full acceptance of LGBT diversity, and perhaps significantly decrease homophobia in pro sports. The younger generation can aspire to play in pro leagues and also be out and true to their LGBT selves.
4. Since Jason Collins is African-American, it helps dispel the myth that homosexuality is a “white person’s thing.” LGBT people are found across all segments of humanity. See also my last month’s blog on 5 Common Misconceptions about Gay People.
5. Finally, this breaks the gay male stereotype of all gay men being feminine and small. The LGBT community is extremely diverse with a wide range of gender expressions, shapes and sizes.
I would like to close this article with a call out to a female basketball star who recently came out as a lesbian; Brittany Griner, who led Baylor to the 2012 Women’s NCAA championship and was this year’s first draft pick in the WNBA draft. Link to the article about Brittany.