Jason Collins breaks barriers by announcing he’s gay
Washington Wizards center Jason Collins has announced that he’s gay, thus becoming the first active player in the four major American sports leagues to do so. Look for many more to now follow Collins’ lead.
Collins revealed the news in an article for Sports Illustrated … saying, “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay. … He continued, “I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation.
“I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.”
Collins — and his twin brother Jarron — have been high profile athletes since high school … when they were two of the highest rated prep players in the country. They both went on to become standouts at Stanford … and were each drafted into the NBA in 2001. Jason says he didn’t come out to his twin until last summer, and Jarron was “astounded.”
He described how he lived a “double life,” even getting engaged at one point.
“When I was younger I dated women. I even got engaged. I thought I had to live a certain way. I thought I needed to marry a woman and raise kids with her. I kept telling myself the sky was red, but I always knew it was blue,” he said.
Collins has played for six NBA teams in his career. The Boston Celtics traded him to the Wizards earlier this season in exchange for guard Jordan Crawford. He’s currently a free agent.
“Now I’m a free agent, literally and figuratively. I’ve reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.”
As to why he opted to address his sexuality now, Collins says that he was partly inspired by the Boston Marathon bombings: “It takes an enormous amount of energy to guard such a big secret. I’ve endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie. I was certain that my world would fall apart if anyone knew. And yet when I acknowledged my sexuality I felt whole for the first time. I still had the same sense of humor, I still had the same mannerisms and my friends still had my back.”
Former NBA player John Amaechi, who came out as gay after he retired, tweeted his congratulations to Collins.
Zenit St Petersburg Fans Demand White Only Team
Russians are taking intolerance to the next level after soccer authorities received a letter from fans of one of Russia’s biggest teams demanding the club exclude non-white and gay players.
According to the BBC, Zenit St. Petersburg’s largest supporters’ group issued an open letter to the team saying black players were “forced down Zenit’s throat” and gay players are “unworthy of our great city.” The team, winners of the Russian Premier League last year, was the only one in the league without a black player before two signings earlier this year.
Zenit’s Italian head coach described the fans’ letter as “stupidity” and pledged to support efforts to tackle racism. He told The Guardian, “Tolerance for me is most of all the ability to understand and accept differences,” adding “I can personally assure you that I will do everything I can to help those who seek to explain to people what tolerance is, and the need to respect other cultures and traditions.” The chief of Russia’s soccer players and coaches union suggested that foreign players boycott the league until authorities get serious about addressing the racism issue.
Carla Bruni: Sorry Hubby, I’m Pro Gay Marriage
In an interview with the French edition of Vogue for its December issue, the 44-year-old former supermodel and singer said: “I’m rather in favor because I have a lot of friends — men and women — who are in this situation and I see nothing unstable or perverse in families with gay parents.”
France’s Socialists are pushing a bill that could see gay marriage legalized early next year, defying criticism from religious leaders and Sarkozy’s own UMP party.
Bruni says, “my husband is opposed for reasons linked to his political vocation, because he sees people as groups of thousands rather than people we know personally.”
Gay Couples Are Now Less Likely To Be Deported
Great win for gay couples: Janet Napolitano confirmed that same-sex couples in “long-term” relationships will be less likely to get deported from the United States
The Obama administration had already said as much, but Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, solidified it in messages to 80 House Democrats who had asked to see it added to department guidelines. “This is a huge step forward,” says an LGBT advocate.
DHS released guidelines last year telling its agents that various factors, including family relationships, could make a person “low priority” for deportation, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. But the term “family relationships” remained vague until Napolitano wrote in her letter that it “includes long-term, same-sex partners.” The new policy will be disseminated to immigrations and customs agents next week, she said.
Paris Hilton Thinks Gay People Are Horny And Disgusting
Remember Paris Hilton? Yes, she’s still alive and dumb as ever: The Hilton heiress has again been caught on tape, this time, a cab driver caught the socialite making some pretty inflammatory remarks about gay men earlier this month—though her people are valiantly attempting to spin it as the socialite simply showing her concern about serious health risks.
While discussing Grindr—a website some gay men reportedly use in a quest for casual sex—with another passenger in the cab, Hilton says: ” Ewwww … gay guys are the horniest people in the world … they’re disgusting. Dude, most of them probably have AIDS. … I would be so scared if I was a gay guy … you’ll, like, die of AIDS.”
In a statement, Hilton’s rep says the celebutante was actually talking with “a close gay friend,” and this friend told her “a story about a gay man who has AIDS and is knowingly having unprotected sex.” That’s when the conversation got intense, and Paris was simply trying to “express that it is dangerous for anyone to have unprotected sex that could lead to a life-threatening disease,” the rep says. “Her comments were in reference to those people promoting themselves on the site. The cab driver who recorded this only provided a portion of the conversation. It was not her intent to make any derogatory comments about all gays.”
FDA Prepares To Ban Gay Sperm Donations
In news that make me feel like it’s 1942, the FDA is preparing to ban anonymous gay sperm donations. Why? Well, it looks like the FDA thinks this will prevent potential recipients from being exposed to the HIV virus.
Really, that’s the reason they gave out.
Lesbian and Gay rights activists are calling the new policy discriminatory. “The part I find most offensive, and a little frightening, is that it isn’t based on good science,” Kevin Cathcart said. “There’s a steadily increasing trend of heterosexual transmission of HIV, and yet the FDA still has this notion that you protect people by putting gay men out of the pool.”
Critics are questioning why screening policies are targeting only gay donors and not screening all donors for HIV.
Hugh Hefner Talks Gay Marriage In New Editorial
Hugh Hefner has joined the list of celebrities and other high-profile figures speaking out in favor of same-sex marriage.
In an editorial featured in the September issue of his magazine, he says:
“Today, in every instance of sexual rights falling under attack, you’ll find legislation forced into place by people who practice discrimination disguised as religious freedom,” Hefner writes. “Their goal is to dehumanize everyone’s sexuality and reduce us to using sex for the sole purpose of perpetuating our species. To that end, they will criminalize your entire sex life.”
After noting that conservatives “assault the right of gays, whether by denying them to right to marry or, as in Kansas, by attempting to empower landlords, business owners and employers to discriminate against gays on religious grounds,” Hefner adds, “This is a religious nation, but it is also a secular one. …No one should have to subjugate their religious freedom, and no one should have their personal freedoms infringed. This is America and we must protect the rights of all Americans.”
This isn’t the first time Hefner has spoken out in favor of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. The 2009 documentary “Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel” reportedly details the entrepreneur’s then-controversial 1955 decision to publish “The Crooked Man,” a short science-fiction story by Charles Beaumont.
After a number of readers responded angrily to the Beaumont’s story, which reportedly depicts a society in which homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuals are persecuted, Hefner wrote, “If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society, then the reverse was wrong too,” according to The Advocate.
Upon the release of the 2009 documentary, Hefner told the Daily Beast: “The idea that the concept of marriage will be sullied by same-sex marriage is ridiculous. Heterosexuals haven’t been doing that well at it on their own.”
Kudos: Tammy Smith Promoted As Army’s First Openly Gay General
It’s been less than a year since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but the Army has already promoted Tammy Smith to the rank of brigadier general, making her the first openly gay general in the US military
Smith stood with her commanding officer at the promotion ceremony, then her father was introduced along with her wife, Tracey Hepner.
“This part is a little fuzzy for me, because I have to confess, I got choked up,” said one Army veteran and friend of the couple who attended the event. “People have been working toward this moment for decades.”
A 26-year veteran who has served in Afghanistan and Costa Rica, Smith downplayed the social significance of her groundbreaking promotion. “I don’t think I need to be focused on that,” she said. “What is relevant is upholding Army values and the responsibility this carries.”