Commentary: Jason Collins Comes Out–Will You?

The MSU Spokesman

Jason Collins, Twitter
Jason Collins, Twitter

Being open sexually regardless of orientation has been a huge topic for quite some time now, at least for as long as I can remember.

And being accepted is another issue that people have always and will always deal with.

Now, being open and being accepted are definitely the hardest things for anyone to achieve, and most times you have to pick one over the other to truly be happy.

In high school, I had a friend that was gay; he came out to me but refused to do so openly. Because of that he was ridiculed, and even bullied. Because he was the son of a pastor, being gay wasn’t an option.

God hates gay people, doesn’t he? Or so a lot of people think.

That alone made some of the years that were supposed to be best for him, the worst.

Unfortunately what he didn’t seem to understand was that he was being picked on not because he was gay, but because he wouldn’t openly be himself.

After graduation, he went to Morehouse College, in the gay capital of the world, and he was finally able to be himself, and come out and is the happiest he has ever been. They do say the preacher’s kids are the worst, right?

Learning to accept yourself is the most important thing that any person can do in life, and luckily support and acceptance from others isn’t trailing too far behind nowadays.

Same-sex marriage laws are being passed all over the country, gays and lesbians are parading proudly in the streets, and finally now in major sports.

On Monday, NBA star Jason Collins came out in an article for Sports Illustrated simply stating, “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”

Collins is the first athlete in a major sport to come out of the closet.

Collins said he always knew he was gay, but also felt that it was wrong, suppressed the feelings, and used basketball as a distraction. He dated a lot of different women, and was even engaged to former WNBA player Carolyn Moos, who had no idea that her ex- fiancé was gay. It wasn’t until the 2011 NBA Lockout that he took a really good look at himself.

“Imagine you’re in the oven, baking. Some of us know and accept our sexuality right away and some need more time to cook. I should know — I baked for 33 years,” Collins stated in his Sports Illustrated Piece.

He has received enormous support from not only colleagues in the NBA and people like Oprah, but also from President Barack Obama, who called Collins personally to tell him how proud he was of him.

Because we are in a more liberal time period, it seems to be easier for people to come out and be open and honest about whom they really are. We tend to care a little less now about judgment and acceptance from others, because how we feel about ourselves has nothing to do with anybody else.

Maybe the age of enlightenment is finally upon us. And everyone surely wants to be “different.”

We live in a world where only the strong will survive.

How strong can you be if you’re not brave enough to be yourself?