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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Role Model

WNBA All-Star Sheryl Swoopes comes out in a recent ESPN The Magazine article. (PageOneQ)
"My reason for coming out now isn't to be some sort of hero. It's not something that I want to throw in people's faces. I'm just at a point in my life where I'm tired of having to pretend to be somebody I'm not. I'm tired of having to hide my feelings about the person I care about. About the person I love."

"I didn't always know I was gay. I honestly didn't. Do I think I was born this way? No. And that's probably confusing to some, because I know a lot of people believe that you are. I've been married, and I have an 8-year-old son. Being with a man was what I wanted. When I got divorced in 1999, it wasn't because I'm gay."

"My biggest concern is that people are going to look at my homosexuality and say to little girls - whether they're white, black, Hispanic - that I can't be their role model anymore. I don't want that to happen. Being gay has nothing to do with the three gold medals or the three MVPs or the four championships I've won. I'm still the same person. I'm Sheryl."

"What really irritates me is when people talk about football, baseball and the NBA, you don't hear all of this talk about gay guys playing. But when you talk about the WNBA, then it becomes an issue. Sexuality and gender don't change anyone's performance on the court. Women play just as hard as guys do. We're just as competitive."

"I don't know if a guy will have the courage to come out while he's still playing because of the whole male-ego thing. Male athletes of my caliber probably feel like they have a lot more to lose than gain. I don't agree with that. To me the most important thing is happiness."
Takes guts in the sports world to come out - I don't personally agree about the not being born gay bit - but that's okay. Looks like she's also gotten her first post-coming out endorsement deal - she'll join Rosie Jones and Martina Navratilova at Olivia. She'll catch some grief over coming out with a money deal. Those same people need to walk a mile in her Air Swoopes.


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