Friday, May 03, 2013

I Didn't Say It .... The Jason Collins Edition

Jarron Collins, Jason Collins’s twin brother, on his brother’s coming out as the first openly gay, still playing, professional athlete:
"I won't lie. I had no idea. We talked, he answered my questions, I hugged him and I digested what he had told me. At the end of the day, this is what matters: He's my brother, he's a great guy, and I want him to be happy. I'll love him and I'll support him and, if necessary, I'll protect him. What does Jason want out of this? He wants to live his life. He wants a relationship, he wants a family, he wants to settle down. He wants to move forward with his personal life while maintaining his life as a professional basketball player. That's all, really. This announcement will be surprising to some people. I already anticipate the questions: 'Are you the gay twin or the straight one?' This is uncharted territory, and no one can predict how it will play out. It's a big deal -- but it's also not a big deal. When the media crush is over, Jason will have the strength to deal with whatever challenges come from being openly gay. Today, Jason has taken a huge weight off his shoulders. And I've never been more proud of him." 

Coming out is hard.
Coming out to your family, and wondering if they'll still love and accept is harder still.
Coming out to a twin, who feels about you like Jarron Collins does towards Jason, is a great, great thing.

Chris Broussard, of ESPN, saying Jason Collins cannot be gay and a Christian:
"Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly, like premarital sex between heterosexuals. If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits. It says that, you know, that’s a sin. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, whatever it maybe, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the bible would characterize them as a Christian."

I think the Bible might characterize Broussard as a person who judges others, and yet, doesn't the Bible say something about not judging.
And, by the way, if The Gays were allowed to marry we wouldn't all be having pre-marital sex. And, again by the way, the Bible lists all kinds of sins, Chris; and I'm sure you commit some of those 'sins' and still call yourself a Christian.

Frank Bruni, writing for the New York Times, on when gay folks will stop talking about famous people coming out:
"Many of us want to, and will: when a gay, lesbian or transgendered kid isn’t at special risk of being brutalized or committing suicide. When the federal government outlaws discrimination against people based on sexual orientation, which it still hasn’t done … When immigration laws give same-sex couples the same consideration that they do heterosexual ones. When the Defense of Marriage Act crumbles and our committed relationships aren’t relegated to a lesser status, a diminished dignity … When a Rutgers coach doesn’t determine that the aptly ugly garnish for hurling basketballs at his players’ heads is the slur 'faggot. When professional football scouts don’t try to ascertain that potential recruits are straight … When an athlete like Collins can be honest about himself without he and his co-author having to stress that he’s a guy’s guy, a godly man, someone who stayed mum about himself before now precisely so he wouldn’t disrupt his teams or upset his teammates, someone who’s inhabited locker rooms for 12 seasons already without incident … When a gay person’s central-casting earnestness and eloquence aren’t noted with excitement and relief, because his or her sexual orientation needn’t be accompanied by a litany of virtues and accomplishments in order for bigotry to be toppled and a negative reaction to be overcome."

One day it'll be no big deal.
One day it'll just be.

Ellen DeGeneres, on Jason Collins’ coming out:
"I applaud you Jason Collins, I applaud you. That is a very brave man. I would high-five you but I don’t think I can reach you. But when I see you, I am gonna hug your knees so hard. So, so brave. Really, you’re an incredible role model. Because of you, there’s a little boy playing basketball right now who knows that he can be who he is and play the sport that he loves. Now that little boy’s only obstacle is that he’s gonna be 5’4” and terrible at basketball. But you’ve done your part." 

As I always say, one person, any person, famous or not, coming out, makes a difference. You might not know it because it won't make the news, but every time once of us comes out, the world changes for the better.

Bryan Fischer, of the ironically named hate group American Family Association, calling Jason Collins a sexual predator:
"I will guarantee you if the ownership of whatever team is thinking about bringing him back or thinking about trading for him - and they go to the players on that team and they say 'how do you feel about an out, active homosexual being in the same locker room sharing the same shower facilities with you' they'd say 'no way. I don't want that. I don't want some guy, a teammate eyeballin' me in the shower and my wife does not want that." 

I find it funny how much time and energy people like Bryan Fischer fantasize and sermonize about gay sex. Methinks he's a little too interested in it.
And, for the record, Jason Collins was gay last year, and showering with other men, and I didn't hear any uproar about him "eyeballin" the other men. Maybe it's because he's less obsessed with gay sex than Bryan Fischer.
And, lastly, Fischer is such a troll he need not worry about any man, gay or straight, trying to eye his balls.

Martina Navratilova, openly gay tennis legend, on Jason Collins’ coming out:
“When I came out, in 1981, I didn't have much public support and I know I lost endorsements. But I never had to worry about losing my job. In tennis, there are no bosses, no general managers and no coaches who can keep players from competing. So I was safe in that regard. For team sports athletes, this is not the case. A homophobic coach at any level -- high school, college or pros -- could keep a player from playing. …Now that Jason Collins has come out, he is the proverbial "game-changer." One of the last bastions of homophobia has been challenged. How many LGBT kids, once closeted, are now more likely to pursue a team sport and won't be scared away by a straight culture? Collins has led the way to freedom. Yes, freedom -- because that closet is completely and utterly suffocating. It's only when you come out that you can breathe properly. It's only when you come out that you can be exactly who you are. Collins' action will save lives. This is no exaggeration: Fully one third of suicides among teenagers occur because of their sexuality. Collins will truly affect lives, too. Millions of kids will see that it is OK to be gay. No need for shame, no need for embarrassment, no need for hiding."

She's right: it was easier for her to come out, even 30 years ago, because she wasn't part of a team, and there wasn't that stigma of 'What will the team do?'
And she's also right that, while she lost endorsements, the tide is changing and companies will realize that a gay player is just as "ad worthy" as a straight player.

Andy Roddick, tennis star, and longtime crush, on becoming an LGBT Athlete Ally:
"Yesterday was an incredible day for athletes everywhere. Jason Collin’s courage and leadership in coming out reminds me of how important it is for an athlete to be able to be true to him or herself. As an Athlete Ally, I want to support every athlete to feel comfortable and confident being themselves and to make sure that all people - players and fans alike – are welcome and included in tennis.”

All I got is: he's hot.
And an LGBT ally, which makes him even hotter.

President Barack Obama, on Jason Collins' coming out: 
"I had a chance to talk to him yesterday. He seems like a terrific young man. I told him I couldn't be prouder. One of the extraordinary measures of progress that we've seen in this country has been the recognition that the LGBT community deserves full equality, not just partial equality, not just tolerance, but a recognition that they're fully part of the American family. And given the importance of sports in our society, for an individual who's excelled at the highest levels in one of the major sports to say, 'This is who I am, I'm proud of it. I'm still a great competitor. I'm still 7 foot tall and can bang with Shaq and deliver a hard foul.' And you know, for, I think, a lot of young people out there who are gay or lesbian who are struggling with these issues, to see a role model like that who is unafraid, I think this is a great thing. And I think Americans should be proud that this is just one more step in this ongoing recognition that we treat everybody fairly and everybody's part of a family and we judge people on the basis of their character and their performance and not their sexual orientation. I'm very proud of him."

It was a great and brave thing to do.
Being the first at anything is hard, but someone had to do it.
Thanks Jason.

Judy and Dennis Shepard, on the story that Jason Collins chose #98 to wear in honor of Matthew Shepard [it's the year Matthew died]:
“(Collins) couldn’t have been that old (when it happened), so it must have had a tremendous impact on him, the story behind Matt, for him to want to do that. And then to wear it all this time without telling people why until today, that’s incredible.”

We all take our steps towards coming out, and Collins choosing that number was a way to remind himself that his journey toward being out was on its way.


Ask the Cool Cookie said...

Bryan Fischer feels really threatened by this. He's afraid that gay guy could be stealing a look at his junk. Straight guys have been eyeballing each other to see how they measure up for years. Assclown.

R.J. said...

I love what Jarron Collins had to say. Chris Broussard? I see an asshat of the week nomination in his future.

the dogs' mother said...

Am always interested in reading about twins (having a set myself :-) and when the twins became teenagers we would always joke about 'I'm the good twin, he (she) is the evil one' - we even bought t-shirts once. Jason and Jarron are both good twins.

anne marie in philly said...

h8ers gonna h8, but they are becoming more and more on the fringes instead of in the mainstream. soon we may be able to put the h8ers in a small box and tape it shut!

Wonder Man said...

Chris Boussard is a nut

Miss Lisa said...

A powerful set of quotes, Bob. Thanks for putting this together. Very moving and indicative of where we are today, vs. where we were just a few years ago. Jason Collins, brave, heroic, game-changer.

anne marie in philly said...

PS - hey, Bryan Fischer: even I don't wanna look at your junk. probably need a magnifying glass or a high power microscope to see it anyway.

small mind = small dick.