“Since my coming out, I’ve gotten letters from parents who have said, ‘Thank you for what you have done in coming out and helping me better understand how to deal with my daughter, or even my son.’ Those parents with gay kids are asking themselves, how did this happen to my child? How did they turn out this way? Of all the things I’ve accomplished in my basketball career, to think that me coming out could possibly save one person’s life far outweighs the things I’ve accomplished on the basketball court. ” – WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes, talking to AfterEllen.com.
I really like Swoopes and I was sorry to read recently that Nike decided to pull the plug on her shoe endorsement deal and thought the commercial was really cute. But I think her legacy as an out pro female basketball player may always be clouded by her statements that some people “decide” to be gay. In 2005, she told Gay.com, “I think there are a lot of people — gays and lesbians — who believe you are born that way. I think there also a lot of people who believe it’s a choice. And, for me, I believe it was a choice. I was at a point in my life where I had gone through a divorce and was not in a relationship, and the choice I made happened to be that I fell in love with another woman.”
I’m glad that Swoopes is having a positive influence on kids, but how does she explain to them how one “chooses” to fall in love?