April 18, 2012

A Look At The Story Of A Black Gay Athlete's Coming Out

Here's the first couple paragraphs, but check out the whole story on the HuffPost:

"Trying to examine my own internalized racism and how it relates to my current relationship is complicated, because I am afraid to confront my truth sometimes. Being a formerly closeted gay athlete, I learned how to lie. To be a convincing liar, one must vehemently believe in one's own lies. And although I've dated a black man, I had to finally own the fact that I prefer white men. I can't explain it, but I own it. I don't apologize for it. Many people ask me about the one black man I dated, in an attempt to formulate reasons why I became interested in him. Well, he was a Harvard graduate and a medical student. Maybe subconsciously, this particular black man, with his impressive résumé, attracted me because I thought that he would allow me the same access as a white suitor.

Growing up poor in Louisiana, access and privilege seemed to be mutually inclusive. I had neither. But when you're a child, you don't have the language or the understanding to comprehend what you do and don't have, and you definitely don't understand why. As I went through the stages of adolescence, I began to understand the world around me and how to move within the world in order to gain privilege and access. So I formulated my "cool pose," which, for me, was a learned habit of crafting a persona and image to dictate how people perceived me. My performance, including my dress, speech, and attitude, was geared toward gaining access to a world I believed would be denied to me if I didn't conform."

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