‘Coming Out Is A Gift That You Give Yourself.’ – Jason Collins

‘Coming Out Is A Gift That You Give Yourself.’ – Jason Collins

Jason Collins 04In accepting an award celebrating LGBT rights pioneers, Jason Collins, the NBA’s first openly gay player, called coming out “a gift that you give yourself.”

Former ‘Nsyncer Lance Bass and Jason Marsden of the Matthew Shepard Foundation introduced Collins.

“Thanks to each and every one of you for making one of the hardest decisions of my life the single most rewarding thing I have ever done,” Collins said.

“Now in one sense that may sound a little selfish but the simple fact is, at the end of the day, coming out is a gift that you give yourself. It’s the gift of shrugging off the burden of a secret. And when you don’t know exactly what the truth will bring, it’s the gift of standing a little bit taller on the court, or in the school, or in church – wherever – and knowing that no matter how everyone else is looking at you, they’re actually seeing you for who you truly are.”

“The best kinds of gifts are the ones you can share with everyone. When you stand a little bit taller, somebody always notices. Somebody who needed that hope really badly. When you live a little bit more honestly, a gay or transgender or lesbian teenager can see more clearly that the world really is getting better.”

“Coming out is really difficult. But [if] I’ve learned one thing from all of this, [it] is that the only thing harder is staying in the closet. … Coming out is a gift you can give yourself that can also help change the entire world,” he added.

Ah, Jason, it is not so here o. Coming Out is most definitely NOT a gift you give yourself in Nigeria. But I’m still so happy for you for being true to yourself.

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  1. Dennis Macauley
    July 06, 06:28 Reply

    I couldn’t agree more. I think ultimately it let’s you stratify people; those who will stay and those who will not so you move on with those who will stay and have peace.
    In this part of the world, it’s as if we all leave with the mortal fear of being outed. Like this really dark cloud hangs over your head and follows you around. So coming out will give you power over that cloud, to take charge of your life and tell your own story by yourself. Having said that, I wish I had the courage to do that.

    • pinkpanthertb
      July 06, 09:36 Reply

      You’re so right, Dennis. In the end, I believe it’s the societal climate is what decides just how beneficial the gift of coming out is.

  2. chestnut
    July 06, 23:51 Reply

    *sigh*… I totally understand how being true to yourself can be a gift. I’ve often fantasized about how much happier I would be inside,if my loved ones understood and accepted me for who I am. But b4 they understand and accept,u have to reveal. It would be hell at first; there will be screams,there will be tears, there will pleas and threats, there might even be a heart attack and an attempted suicide somewhere in d mix,lol.but once u get past d initial festival of madness and brace urself to stand your ground,there will be resignation and perhaps,a defeated acceptance and then comes d joy…d joy of not having to lie and make up excuses everyday about how all d girls you meet are not “wife material”. But would I ever do it? *sigh again*…no;I’m too much of a coward and I can’t bear to hurt my fragile family that way.I hav to suffer in silence and withold this self-gift; I have to sacrifice inner-peace for outer-peace.
    (Why am I talking too much dis nyte,bikonu?)

  3. anonymous
    July 07, 07:23 Reply

    Let’s not get carried away by his ‘bravery’ in coming out. Truth is this guy is an asshole! He led his fiance on for eight good fucking years!!! And the dude didn’t have the decency to appologise after coming out to her days before he came out in the papers…I mean he has wasted eight damn good yrs of her life and the poor lady is now in her thirties and is contemplating freezing her eggs cus she wants to v kids someday, she tot all was well and she was gonna marry him someday and v kids with him only for him to end it all with no particular reason. It’s when he finally came out recently she understood why he ended things with her.

    So NO! He shouldn’t be applauded he is a fucking Asshole! Jeez! This would be a perfect case of diary of a mad black woman (well she’s white). Honestly if she goes over the bender and stabs him in his sleep I wouldn’t blame her.

  4. Lothario
    July 07, 15:32 Reply

    @Anonymous, I absolutely agree with you. But I’m always of the opinion, “Don’t assume you know unless you’re there”, they’ve probably had a closed door settlement and are BFFs….so let’s just applaud his bold move.

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