First it was NBA player Jason Collins, then it was University of Missouri football player and NFL draft prospect Michael Sam. Now, UMass college basketball’s Derrick Gordon, has announced Mom, Dad, coach, teammates and the world, I’m gay!
In my opinion, these three athletes going public about their sexuality are, metaphorically, exercising nature’s call; brought on by drinking too much of society’s old brand of moral juice.
However, I do feel it is my business and duty as one who has been there done that — not by way of the press— to break the news to Jason, Michael, Derrick and many others considering going public with their sexuality. Coming out is the easy part and by no means makes life easier to live.
Telling my family was made easier by the 1980 unofficial gay anthem, “I’m Coming Out,” sung by Diana Ross. However, all the support I received did nothing to alleviate the next 30 plus years of shame or stress associated with me still wanting to be private. I still do not believe it is anyone’s business.
What helped me most was when my shame turned into anger. I discovered that I had been lied to by society, concerning homosexuality. Then I read stories of how society treated heroes in history who happened to be homosexual. I concluded, a great deal of society is naive at best and their ignorance in many cases turned into anger and evil.
Ask Jason Collins if he has ever heard of Oliver Sipple. Ask Michael Sam if he ever heard of Alan Turing. Ask Derrick Gordon if he knows who Bayard Rustin was or what he learned of this man’s 60 years of fighting for civil rights. Then ask them all to recite all they were taught about King James.
Oliver Sipple, a homosexual who was credited with saving the life of President Gerald R. Ford, was not honored for his heroics, but dishonored and even shunned by his own parents 24 hours after his good deed.
Alan Turing was credited for saving millions of the British during WWII. Following that feat he became the father of the computer, only to be chemically castrated for being homosexual, which led to him committing suicide.
Bayard Rustin deserves credit for the greatest speech of the 20th century. If it were not for his efforts, “I Have a Dream,” would have not taken place in Washington, D.C., but relegated to where Dr. King accepted the call to pastor, Dexter Ave. Baptist Church, April 14, 1954.
King James, a homosexual, decreed that the Bible be translated into English and the “King James Version” of the Holy Bible has been read by more Americans than any other English translation.
In a world where we all celebrate “firsts,” we have these three first for blacks. First openly gay man to play in the NBA. First openly gay college football player. First openly gay college basketball player. Where are all of the courageous gay American athletes of other races? And let’s face it, if the President of the United States had been Mitt Romney, I doubt any of these athletes would have received a call of support from the White House.
In an era where the professional athlete must get their money, why not wait for corporate America to figure out a way to tastefully make a financial killing on the con of coming out of the closet on national television as the trendy thing to do, then cash in. Otherwise, I suggest, wait until society realizes that God never intended to create us all to think or act alike.
There is good news. There is a new refreshing moral juice that comes in a metaphorical bottle that quenches the thirst for hate. The bad news is, after shaking the bottle many discover the instructions too hard to swallow: “The greatest peace of mind you will ever enjoy is when you mind your own business.”
Allen Jones is a prison reform activist living in San Francisco and author of Case Game-Activating the Activist. His autobiography of a black, crippled homosexual is in the San Francisco Public Library.