Wednesday, October 26, 2005

This is News?

Surprising just about no one, a WNBA player announces that she is a lesbian.

I remember that when they rolled out the WNBA, Sheryl Swoopes was one of the three people (along with Rebecca Lobo and someone else) they trumpeted as superstars. I only watched a few snippets of the WNBA, and they seemed pretty good, but it just wasn't the same as watching the NBA. I'm not trying to be down on women's sports; they're just not my cup of tea (I like chocolate milk in mine, for what that says about my cup of tea...). However, professional and Olympic women's teams often have a strong hint of homosexuality about them. A large segment of the WNBA's fan base is lesbians, and one of my dad's female co-workers who played college softball told him that about 80% of the US Women's Olympic Softball team that year were lesbians. I suspect it's easier to hide, in addition to women probably being more sympathetic to it.

One thing that's not clear is exactly what's going on. She says she's a lesbian, but my reading of the story seems to indicate that she doesn't actually get intimate with her partner (not as if it's my business anyway). Two things she said that were repeated in the article struck me, though. First, she was quoted as saying "To me, the most important thing is happiness." This could be benign or, as Mark Shea might see it, really mean "I want what I want, regardless of whether it's right or what it does to my son." The second was the unintentionally revealing "The talk about the WNBA being full of lesbians is not true, there are as many straight women in the league as there are gay." This even more revealing than if she had reversed it and said that there were as many gay players in the league as straight ones. In the quote, the reference norm is gay players, with heterosexuals being the one compared. What it also says is that she thinks that fully half the WNBA is lesbian.

And as much as I don't want to say it, I'm not surprised in the slightest.

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