Less Social Trailblazing, More Points Per GameApril 29, 2013
So there’s that story that just came about NBA player Jason Collins being the first athlete to come out of the closet in one of the four major sports leagues in America, and I went to find Tina the Lesbian to see how she felt about it.
“Well, Martina Navratilova’s been out of the closet for years, and college basketball standout/future WNBA Number One draft pick Brittney Griner came out recently too,” says Tina the Lesbian. “But yes, I’ll concede the obvious point that few people pay attention to tennis or women’s basketball in this country.”
“So how big is this for your people?” I say.
“To be honest, I’m not feeling all that jazzed about it,” says Tina the Lesbian. “This Jason Collins guy… he’s not that good at basketball.”
“You were wishing for a better player to come out of the closet,” I say.
“Look, I wasn’t expecting LeBron James or Kobe Bryant or some other all-star to say they’re gay,” says Tina the Lesbian. “But couldn’t we in the gay community get someone better than an underperforming journeyman center? Maybe someone who’s a good 6th man off the bench, or a really good role player.”
“Is this to combat the stereotype that gay men are bad at basketball?” I say.
“Is that a real stereotype?” says Tina the Lesbian.
“I don’t know, I might have invented that one,” I say.
“Maybe now that he doesn’t have to worry about being gay he can be a better player,” says Tina the Lesbian. “But he’s already 34, so he’s well into the downswing of his less than notable career. Maybe if someone coming out of the NBA draft, like a high-rated prospect, came out just before draft day I’d be more excited about it.”
“Perhaps it opens the doors for other athletes in the other major sports to come out of the closet,” I say.
“Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t,” Tina the Lesbian says with a shrug. “If it does, I’ll give this Collins guy his props for being the first to do it. But it takes a little more than a below-average center whose less-than-notable career is almost done coming out of the closet to get me excited. There’s a reason they picked Jackie Robinson to be the first black player in the Major Leagues of baseball: because he was fucking awesome.”
“You’ve become jaded in your older years,” I say. “When this blog began you probably would have been doing backflips in the street from news like this.”
“Back then I didn’t need a nap on the weekends, and I could finish off a box of Franzia by myself and still have the wherewithal to hit the after hours bars,” says Tina the Lesbian. “I’ll leave the excitement of progress to the under-25 crowd. They have the energy to ride those drama waves.”
Strangely it seems like a significant step forward in society that gay people can be this unimpressed about such events. Not giving a shit is usually the domain of us straight white males. Welcome to the club! The “meh” club, but the club nonetheless.