Jason Collins Inspires Sports Writer To Come Out

tonyjovenitti2.0_standard_709.0The coming out story of Washington Wizards center Jason Collins continues to reverberate not only throughout the LGBT community but through the sports world, as well. After reading about Collins yesterday, Tony Jovenitti, a 24-year-old Wisconsin-based sports writer decided to follow his lead and come out publicly as a gay man.

“I’m tired of putting on the charade of being straight,” Jovenitti writes in a first-person essay for OutSports. “I grew up in a very small town that isn’t too accepting of diversity. There was one gay kid and one black kid in my school and both were bullied mercilessly. I didn’t partake in the bullying – I’m the kind of person who stays away from conflict, even when I probably should confront something – but I just stood by and let the jocks tease the only gay person in town who had the guts to be himself. For that, I’m ashamed. I wish I could go back and do it all over. But I can’t. All I can do is offer my apologies.”

Jovenetti also offers an apology to his family and friends for not being honest with them until now.

“If there’s one thing that my parents taught me growing up, it’s that lying is wrong,” he writes. “And I let them down. But I know that they will accept and love me no matter what. They’ve even told me this when we’ve had discussions about homosexuality. I don’t know why I’m so scared to come out to the world.”

He also discuss the challenges of being a closeted gay man in the macho, read: often-homophobic sports world.

“A few people would crack homophobic ‘jokes’ and blurt out gay slurs at the office and in the locker room,” he writes. “I know they didn’t mean it, but that doesn’t make it right. I’m sure they’re reading this now saying, ‘Oh no, I didn’t know he was gay, I wouldn’t have said that!’ It shouldn’t matter if someone’s gay or not; we shouldn’t be using those words. I’m not mad at these people and still consider them my friends, but I just hope they learn from this and stop using hateful words.”

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  • Dakotahgeo

    Absolutely all the best and blessings to those who are shucking their closets for truth and freedom. This country and the world are truly changing as we speak… finally, and all in good time! Grrreat feeling! :-)
    GMMelby, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  • RSun

    @Dakotahgeo: “shucking their closets for truth and freedom”
    Nice…just needs a soundtrack now.

  • avesraggiana

    “IS EVERYBODY GAY?!?!?!?!”

    Joan Cusack as the hapless bride-to-be in the 1997 movie, “In & Out”.

  • NateB79

    Oh he’s so adorable! Makes my hear cockles flutter. Good for him coming out, no matter what the catalyst, it’s never an easy decision to make.

  • BJ McFrisky

    A lot of us can relate to this man’s story. Let’s wish him the best now that he’s stated his case.

  • TVC 15

    He’s cuuute!

  • miagoodguy

    FORMER Washington Wizard center (he is without a team at the moment).

  • Jayson

    @avesraggiana….I like your comment. It’s a classic line!

  • LuLo3280

    Jeremy Kinser is by far the best writer at Queerty! So talented and handsome!

  • balehead

    You did partake in the bullying…. by doing nothing…what a media ho/idiot…

  • balehead

    It’s for the money as always….

  • Derek Williams

    People! We need help – the YouTube page below is loaded with fundamentalist Christians posting hate following an interview with Charles Broussard condemning Collins as a sinner:

    Please visit the page and join in the debate.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @RSun: Heh heh heh… thanks! See my views under the video! Brousard is a grade-A, first class poor example of a a$$hole! Nothing more needs to be said!

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Derek Williams: Thanks, Derek… I did my part… twice, lolol.

  • Derek Williams

    @Dakotahgeo: Cheers Dakotahgeo! I saw. If you know of any other LGBT websites where we might drum up some more soldiers, feel free to copy the links etc.

    Take care!

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Derek Williams: Youuuu… cannot believe how technically obsolete I am! ;) However, is a very good source to follow up on. If there are problems, let me know. Blessings and Peace! GMM

  • DarthKitsune

    I’m always behind people coming out 100%! Yay!

  • bledoutcolor

    @balehead: Oh my God. Do you EVER have ANYTHING positive to say? Stop being a bitter b*** and try building a kinship with your fellow gay man. One that doesn’t involve taking your pants off. If all you can do is throw venom at others in the community then you may as well be helping the homophobes. The gay community doesn’t want or need you if your gonna constantly attack all the gays that aren’t to your liking. Coming out is a sensitive and sacred time in any queer persons life and you should respect that. I’m proud of Tony and am pleased to welcome him as my gay brother, and I wish him nothing but the best and respect him for admitting his faults. I thought his coming out was thoughtful and graceful in fact.

    TL;DR: Step off you negative a**wipe and if you don’t have anything good to say about your fellow gay (who hasn’t done anything to harm the community, or has and recognizes their mistakes and sincerely apologize) ,then don’t say anything at all.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @bledoutcolor: (bled!)(Shhhhh….) (put a cork in it!) (Shhhhhh).

Comments are closed.