Wednesday, October 26, 2005

At Least it Didn't Happen during the Playoffs:

WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes just came out as a lesbian. Whoops, so much for dynamiting the stereotype about female athletes.

Her achievements speak for themselves. Several gold medals, WNBA team championships and individual awards. She's a great athlete, and God bless.. Hmm... I wonder will there be any backlash.. especially from the 'hood... Black communities have yet to publicly embrace any openly gay public figures (okay, E. Lynn Harris sells a lot of books, but it ain't the same thing as your kid's sports hero stepping up to a podium and saying she likes girls).

Obviously, up until now I'm sure she's done her share of charity appearances and participates in community service and any number of photo-ops. I wonder will the brakes be put on those endeavors. I notice she's got an ex-husband and child.. There's all this lingering hand-wringing over 'down-low' men.. and now....?!??!?

``Do I think I was born this way? No,'' Swoopes said. ``And that's probably confusing to some, because I know a lot of people believe that you are.''
This particular comment is mildly troubling for me. In part, because it only fuels the fire for those who contend that gay/bi tendencies are a "curable" condition unnatural to all humanity and implicitly gives credence to the damnable but popular Recruitment myths. On another level, it begs the question of whether she's fully comfortable in having gay romantic leanings.

..Of course, if she is bi, then that's her business.. But now there's gonna be a whole lot of 'speculation' and sound the alarm roundtable discussions and cash-in books: "How to Tell Your Woman is Gay" and the like. Probably more locker-room fights between girls over allegedly giving someone "the look".. Probably more knucklehead men slapping around their significant others because they think they're in the "chicks over (censored)" club.

I wonder does she have any endorsements... if so, I wonder will they stick with her or will they front.. Hopefully the WNBA will not turn their back on her as one of the main "faces" of the sport, in terms of promotional attention.. I'm also curious as to how other players are reacting to this.. and to circumvent a follow-up question, I don't think this will have any affect at all on the NBA; nobody from that world is coming out, until they retire..

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