‘I wanted Jason Collins to be black, too’

‘I wanted Jason Collins to be black, too’

I’d never heard of Jason Collins when I saw a friend’s Facebook status earlier today announcing the news that he was gay. (I prefer college basketball over the NBA.) As I googled his name to find out more, one thought kept running through my mind: “Please be black.”

I wanted Jason Collins to be black, because I knew what it would mean to black gay youth in this country. I wanted him to be black because I’m hyper-aware that the list of influential LGBT celebrities like Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper and Neil Patrick Harris is very white. Most important, I wanted Jason Collins to be black because I know exactly what it’s like to be a gay teenager with dark brown skin who comes out but cannot find anyone gay who looks like you on television. Or in magazines. Or on the news.  These days, when I lecture about LGBT issues on college campuses and various other events, people often tell me I’m the only black person they’ve ever seen speak out for gay rights. The pride I feel is mixed with uneasiness because I wish that weren’t the case.

Continue reading →

Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.

Facebook Comments

Disqus Comments