...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

Swoopes Comes Out
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Wow. Sheryl Swoopes, MVP of the 2005 WNBA, Olympic Gold medal basketball player, member of the champion Houston Comets came out today. I think that’s a big deal. I'm not saying it SHOULD be, but I think it is. Still and all in this day and age.

Swoopes is African-American and from a small Texas town. While it’s not exactly a biggo secret that there are – gasp – lesbians in the WNBA, there’s not exactly a huge celebration of the fact. Lesbians and lesbian organizations have been supportive of women’s basketball from day one, while the pro organizations haven’t always been so welcoming. I find it brave as hell for Swoopes to have come out. Even today there’s so much fear and weirdness in women’s sports about lesbians in the sports and their influence on (cue scary music) girls who want to play the sport, or who ARE playing the sport. Right. But remembering the whoo-haa over Martina….

Her career is not over; she’s only 34 and that still means she has a career if she’s careful. She’s been an AllStar like 5 times, MVP like three times and was a hugely successful college athlete as well. There have been a few other WNBA players who’ve come out, but Swoopes is by far the biggest star to do so. I hadn’t even known Sue Wicks, a player I really liked who was on the New York Liberty team, came out before her retirement.

The story I just read on line is pretty sweet and sad and warm. Her mother still doesn’t accept that her daughter’s a dyke, although she’s known for years. Sheryl lives with her partner and she has a son from an earlier marriage. She’s concerned about what they’ll think of her in her hometown and in Lubbock, where she went to college. But she just wanted to be able to have a life – she’s wanted to be able to attend an awards banquet with her partner. Aw, shit. Sniff, sniff.

Damn. Good for you Sheryl Swoopes.

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