I wrote a piece for The Atlantic today comparing Brittney Griner‘s “coming out” and Jason Collins‘: The WNBA Can Teach Male Athletes About Coming Out and Being Allies.
I’m pleased with it. I enjoy working with the editor there. She helped me take complicated ideas and make them more digestible.
It’s hard to see something go up and know that it is there and you can no longer change it. I feel like I could have written 3000 words on this topic and was glad that I was able to get the post as short as it is. So, on some level, even as I tried for nuance and to complicate the way we talk about this issue, a part of me screams that there is yet more nuance that should be addressed. Alas.
I want to give specific credit to Trudy Hamilton for her piece at Gradient Lair that I cross-posted here at Power Forward last week for helping me think through all the different issues at play in the collective shrug that the media did in response to Griner openly discussing her sexuality for the first time. Her piece on this is simply brilliant. And short. How do you do that?
Wesley Morris’ incredible Grantland piece, “Brittney Griner and the Quiet Queering of Professional Sports,” obviously helped me frame this piece (I end the entire thing by borrowing a phrase from his work).
I also owe my friend Travis Waldron lots of thanks both for his piece on Collins at Think Progress and for emailing and tweeting with me about this yesterday.
Here are other links that I used to create this piece (this is not comprehensive because I read a whole lot to prep):
- Why Jason Collins’s Coming Out Is Such a Big Deal by Garance Franke-Ruta at The Atlantic
- Two posts by Maya Dusenbery at Feministing (that I come back to often): Gender and empathy: Men shouldn’t need to “imagine if it were your wife/daughter/mother” and The Hunger Games: A story for women and girls that everyone can love
- This post at Sex and Media Blog (h/t Kaeli Taylor) – about a February 2005 article by Tricia Jenkins that I did go read part of in The Journal of Popular Culture
And some links about Collins and/or the history of gay athletes that I think are important:
- 9 LGBT Athletes of Color Who Paved the Way for Jason Collins at Colorlines
- Jason Collins Is Not the First Out Gay Pro Athlete at Mother Jones
- Pro Female Athletes Have Been Out For Decades at Buzzfeed
- Jason Collins Has “Reframed the Conversation” Around Sports, Blacks and Homophobia at Ebony
- Dave Zirin’s Jason Collins: The Substance of Change at The Nation