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April 29, 2013

Active Pro Athlete Comes Out

Today', this month', make that THIS YEAR'S big news: NBA player Jason Collins comes out as gay.

I just got back from Turkey and am kind of recovering from traveling right now. That said, I'm still awake and aware enough to do a little (good!) freaking out/flailing about the first active pro athlete (other than, perhaps, the 1970s baseball player Glenn Burke) to come out to the world as gay.

So, yes, consider this Jason Collins post the COMING OUT AS A GAY ATHLETE big, bold, all-caps post towards which the previous posts in this series of discussions (here, here, here, here, and here) were leading.

The Sports Illustrated article containing Jason Collins's narrative is honest and straightforward.  The truths that he shares are simple in presentation, but contain a courage in their simplicity that reveals his desire to live his life without hiding from the world this basic part of himself.  As Collins says, "The most you can do is stand up for what you believe in. I'm much happier since coming out to my friends and family. Being genuine and honest makes me happy."

So far, the reactions to his coming out seem to be positive and supportive.  Today and in the upcoming days, I'm sure we'll see whether earlier interviews with sports personalities and athletes that showed support for a theoretical gay teammate will prove true in the face of an actual gay teammate.  

In my opinion, the most interesting and telling question of support may not be known until this summer when we see what happens with Jason Collins's free agency.  His career thus far seems to have been reliable and productive, and he's set to become a free agent in July.  In the world of sports, "free agent" means he's up for grabs, and he has stated that he intends to pursue a new contract.  It looks like he has more basketball to play in him, and seven-feet-tall players don't just grow on trees. With that said, the biggest and most revealing question of acceptance may come in whether and/or how the NBA teams react.  Will Jason Collins receive a new contract offer?  Will the contract offer(s) reflect his abilities? Will the team(s) take into account only merit or will they also consider his status as a gay athlete?  Not to be a downer or realist, but these questions are still unanswered.

Setting that aside, let's focus on the positive.  For now, this is amazing news. Groundbreaking, really. An active pro athlete came out today as gay. Wow. Can you imagine that headline even five or ten years ago? Perhaps more active gay pro athletes will follow in his footsteps. Perhaps other major professional sports will get their own "firsts" soon.  And perhaps there will eventually be a time when coming out as a gay athlete won't actually be front page, all-caps news at all.

Rooting for number 98,

April 9, 2013

So. Much. News.

Ahhhh! So much to share! But much stuff to do still! I guess that means this is going to be a type-by, info-heavy posting.  :D

First, I went on a spontaneous and last minute trip to Iceland.  Yup, ICELAND. It was awesome with really stark and stunning landscape and nature-y stuff everywhere. I booked the trip a few days before flying out largely because I wanted to see the Northern Lights.  That was kind of on my mental bucket list (if I were to keep one, that is), and Iceland in late March just seemed like the perfect opportunity. After booking a tour to go out onto the bay and ocean in a boat, I saw the Northern Lights on my first night.  The whole night was really an amazing experience, and everything else on my trip was a bonus after that. :)  Gratuitous pic of the beautiful Gullfoss waterfall!

Second, upon my return, I received a message from Less Than Three Press about accepting my swimmer/massage therapist manuscript for publication. YAYAYAYAY! Let me repeat: yay! *ahem* So yeah, the contract is all signed up now, and it'll go through the editing process and all that stuffs. Not sure what the ETA is for publication, but I'm not too concerned. What's awesome is I got the "yes," and my big surly swimmer and happy hapa massage therapist have found a cozy new home.  So yeah, the big takeaway is the yay! :)

Third, I've been making some serious progress on my latest WIP, the LHNB event story. After a rollicking good start, I jumped out to around 10K words by the time I flew out to Iceland.  Since returning, I'm now at 14K and around 80-85% done.  I'd loooove to finish this by the time I fly out, but it might have to happen while I'm IN Turkey. And how interesting would that be, eh??? :) The most difficult part, though? I can't think up a danged title, and the title info is due tomorrow! Well, to be fair, I've thought up a couple potential ones, but I still am not 100% sold on them. :/ :/ So even though the words are coming, the big picture title stuff is not. Roar.

Finally, I leave for Turkey tomorrow! Whoa. I know, a lot of travel lately, but it's just my way of taking full advantage of my voluntary unemployment. After all, when else will I have (a) the free time and (b) the money set aside specifically to do stuff like this?  Also, I figured it would make sense to travel to Europe while I'm still on the East Coast. It might help if I got myself into gear, though, with the packing. And the figuring out what I'm doing in Turkey part. Eeks! I'm just gonna have to go with the flow and trust that things will turn out ab fab. :)

That's about it on my end.  Oh! Also, it was 70 degrees today in NYC. Forget that dumb groundhog, who was a big fat liar! Here's a curious daffodil checking out its own shadow:

Stay sunny, folks!