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View Full Version : Alan Turing and the evils of Homophobia and intolerance


Vis
05-02-2013, 06:42 AM
At the age of 24 he published his first important work, called ‘On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem’, which laid the foundation for the development of the programmable computer.

In this work, he solved the problem of ‘decidability’ which had been exercising scientific minds for some years. Earlier research had found that there could be an infinite number of mathematical formulae and, put simply, the problem was how to reduce any formula to a set of simple instructions which could be used by a machine to mimic the logic performed by the human brain. Turing’s solution was to use the binary system (i.e. only 1 and 0’s) to represent both numbers and logical operations, which could be fed, via punched tape or some other medium, into a mechanical device which he called the ‘Universal Turing Machine’. Essentially this was the first programmable computer. His work came to the attention of mathematicians in the US who were conducting parallel research, and he was invited to collaborate with them, eventually being awarded a PhD in Logic by Princeton.

In 1939 he returned to Britain to join the Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park whose main purpose was to decode messages passed between the German military command and the front line. These messages were encoded using a very sophisticated machine, called Enigma, which had been developed before World War II. Decoding the Enigma messages was seen as vital to the war effort, but manual decoding was extremely time-consuming and Turing recognized that a ‘Turing machine’ could help with the task. He therefore made a direct appeal to the Prime Minister Winston Churchill to provide extra funds to allow him to set up a machine at Bletchley Park,. His audacity paid off and he was able to construct the machine, called the ‘Bombe’, which significantly sped up the de-cyphering of Enigma messages. Amongst other things, this enabled the position of German U-boats in the North Atlantic to be predicted, thereby allowing allied convoys to avoid them. At the end of the war, the work of Turing and his team was highly praised by Churchill, who said that the war could not have been won without them.

After the war, he continued to develop his ideas on computing, and at Manchester University in 1948 helped to set up what was probably the world’s first successful prototype computer.

Man and Enigma

As no voice recordings of Turing survive, it is difficult to know how severely he stuttered, and accounts of people who knew him vary. During his time at Bletchley Park he was regarded as a bit odd by his colleagues, as he did not socialize easily, which may have been due to his stutter, or his natural shyness, or his general unworldliness. However he was also liked, by those who did get to know him, for his gentleness and cheerful outlook.

Whilst he did not flaunt the fact that he was gay, neither did he make a secret of it, and this, together with his naivete, eventually proved to be his downfall. While working in Manchester he frequented such gay venues as existed in the city at that time, and at one of these met a young man with whom he started an affair. An acquaintance of the young man broke into Turing’s house one night, and in the subsequent police investigation Turing spoke of having had sexual relations with the burglar’s friend. Sex between men, even in private, was still a criminal offence in Britain in the 1950’s and in a prevailing atmosphere of paranoia about gay men being a risk to national security Turing had his security clearance taken away. He accepted chemical castration as an alternative to prison. In fact this treatment did nothing but suppress the libido and trigger depression. It was probably a combination of this depression and the stress of public exposure which led him to take his own life – by eating an apple laced with cyanide – in 1954. He was 41. Alan Turing 1946

Legacy

Turing’s legacy to the modern world is incalculable. He was fascinated by the working of the human brain, and his research led him into the areas of physics, biology, psychology and philosophy. Many of his ideas were way ahead of his time, and his writings in the few years preceding his death, for example on Artificial Intelligence, are still being studied today by experts in the field of computer science. His misfortune was to have lived in a less tolerant and more hypocritical age than our own. It is a tribute to him that his personal courage, dedication and refusal to compromise have led to today’s information revolution, and will go on influencing our lives for many years to come.

Vis
05-02-2013, 06:44 AM
Without this gay man's brilliance, no bible thumping thug could rail against homosexuality online.

Vis
05-02-2013, 06:49 AM
"Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can't put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him.

"Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted as he was convicted under homophobic laws were treated terribly. Over the years millions more lived in fear of conviction.

"This recognition of Alan's status as one of Britain's most famous victims of homophobia is another step towards equality and long overdue."

"But even more than that, Alan deserves recognition for his contribution to humankind … It is thanks to men and women who were totally committed to fighting fascism, people like Alan Turing, that the horrors of the Holocaust and of total war are part of Europe's history and not Europe's present.

"So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan's work I am very proud to say: we're sorry, you deserved so much better."

The official apology

JonM229
05-02-2013, 07:13 AM
How dare you attack my God-given intolerance with logic and reason

The_Joker
05-02-2013, 01:57 PM
Again: I give 0 fucks over if a bro likes chicks or other bros.

caplovestroyp43
05-02-2013, 09:23 PM
Man that's just wrong on so many levels. Everyone knows how I feel about the subject however I would never ever hurt anyone like that. I have had gay friends in the past believe it or not and I made it clear I did not approve of their chosen lifestyle but I was able to be friends with one of them. Close friends as a matter of fact who passed in 1993 from kidney cancer. His name was Paul and he was born with Klinefelder's Syndrome meaning both male and female parts. He had immature women's breasts, said he had a monthly, and was moodier than any other woman I ever knew in my life yet I learned so much from him about the lifestyle because he was very open and honest with me about things. Still miss him to this day.

All you can do is hope that hurting gay people will stop one day. I would never bully or hurt them intentionally. Fighting/bullying/threatening/jumping/killing them is NOT the answer. It just isn't.

cubanstogie
05-02-2013, 09:37 PM
you guys act like gays are beaten, have to sit on back of bus and have to go to their own restaurants. I don't support gay marriage, but unless you asked me or read it on this forum no one could know. I have never treated a gay person different than a straight one. No one gets out of this life unscathed or without hardships. Stop acting like homophobia is some kind of epidemic.

SteelCityMom
05-02-2013, 10:38 PM
Man that's just wrong on so many levels. Everyone knows how I feel about the subject however I would never ever hurt anyone like that. I have had gay friends in the past believe it or not and I made it clear I did not approve of their chosen lifestyle but I was able to be friends with one of them. Close friends as a matter of fact who passed in 1993 from kidney cancer. His name was Paul and he was born with Klinefelder's Syndrome meaning both male and female parts. He had immature women's breasts, said he had a monthly, and was moodier than any other woman I ever knew in my life yet I learned so much from him about the lifestyle because he was very open and honest with me about things. Still miss him to this day.

All you can do is hope that hurting gay people will stop one day. I would never bully or hurt them intentionally. Fighting/bullying/threatening/jumping/killing them is NOT the answer. It just isn't.

Despite our disagreements on the topic, it's good to know that we can agree on this. It's ok to disagree with someone's lifestyle. Violence against them for it is never ok.

you guys act like gays are beaten, have to sit on back of bus and have to go to their own restaurants. I don't support gay marriage, but unless you asked me or read it on this forum no one could know. I have never treated a gay person different than a straight one. No one gets out of this life unscathed or without hardships. Stop acting like homophobia is some kind of epidemic.

You should do some fact checking before making statements like that.

Lured Into a Trap, Then Tortured for Being Gay
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/nyregion/09bias.html?ref=hate_crimes&_r=0

Gay UNC student attacked, burned in hate crime
http://www.dailytarheel.com/index.php/article/2011/04/unc_freshman_says_he_was_burned_as_part_of_a_hate_ crime

David Jason Jenkins, Anthony Ray Jenkins Face Life In Anti-Gay Attack Under New U.S. Hate Crime Law
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/david-jason-jenkins-anthony-ray-jenkins_n_1433047.html

Oklahoma teen brutally beaten in anti-gay attack
http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/02/oklahoma-teen-brutally-beaten-in-anti-gay-attack/

Mesquite lesbian brutally beaten defending girlfriend’s son from bullying
http://www.dallasvoice.com/mesquite-lesbian-brutally-beaten-defending-girlfriends-son-bullying-10141034.html

Punks who blinded eighth-grader in anti-gay attack at Roy H. Mann H.S. in Brooklyn face slap could get as little as 18 months
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/punks-blinded-eighth-grader-anti-gay-attack-roy-h-mann-h-s-brooklyn-face-slap-18-months-article-1.1114299


These are just from the past few years...I could go on if these disgusting displays of gay bashing are not enough for you. Seriously, what an ignorant comment.

cubanstogie
05-02-2013, 10:53 PM
you guys act like gays are beaten, have to sit on back of bus and have to go to their own restaurants. I don't support gay marriage, but unless you asked me or read it on this forum no one could know. I have never treated a gay person different than a straight one. No one gets out of this life unscathed or without hardships. Stop acting like homophobia is some kind of epidemic.

Despite our disagreements on the topic, it's good to know that we can agree on this. It's ok to disagree with someone's lifestyle. Violence against them for it is never ok.



You should do some fact checking before making statements like that.

Lured Into a Trap, Then Tortured for Being Gay
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/nyregion/09bias.html?ref=hate_crimes&_r=0

Gay UNC student attacked, burned in hate crime
http://www.dailytarheel.com/index.php/article/2011/04/unc_freshman_says_he_was_burned_as_part_of_a_hate_ crime

David Jason Jenkins, Anthony Ray Jenkins Face Life In Anti-Gay Attack Under New U.S. Hate Crime Law
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/david-jason-jenkins-anthony-ray-jenkins_n_1433047.html

Oklahoma teen brutally beaten in anti-gay attack
http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/02/oklahoma-teen-brutally-beaten-in-anti-gay-attack/

Mesquite lesbian brutally beaten defending girlfriend’s son from bullying
http://www.dallasvoice.com/mesquite-lesbian-brutally-beaten-defending-girlfriends-son-bullying-10141034.html

Punks who blinded eighth-grader in anti-gay attack at Roy H. Mann H.S. in Brooklyn face slap could get as little as 18 months
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/punks-blinded-eighth-grader-anti-gay-attack-roy-h-mann-h-s-brooklyn-face-slap-18-months-article-1.1114299


These are just from the past few years...I could go on if these disgusting displays of gay bashing are not enough for you. Seriously, what an ignorant comment.

wow, you showed some examples of gay bashing. Of course it happens. Just as whites get beat up from blacks or other gangs from being white. I was a paramedic in San Francisco , the gayest city in the world for over a year in the the late 80's and never had a call where a gay guy was beaten by a non gay. Gay boyfriend , different story though.

SteelCityMom
05-02-2013, 10:59 PM
You worked as a paramedic for over a year in San Fran and this is what your basing your opinion on? Using limited personal experiences to justify what you said is very obtuse.

Like I said, those are just in the past few years...do you want more? You want one from San Fran? Harvey Milk.

Here's some more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_violence_against_LGBT_people_in_the_Uni ted_States

Notice any trend? As it becomes more acceptable to come out, violence goes up.

cubanstogie
05-02-2013, 11:11 PM
You worked as a paramedic for over a year in San Fran and this is what your basing your opinion on? Using limited personal experiences to justify what you said is very obtuse.

Like I said, those are just in the past few years...do you want more? You want one from San Fran? Harvey Milk.

Here's some more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_violence_against_LGBT_people_in_the_Uni ted_States

Notice any trend? As it becomes more acceptable to come out, violence goes up.

Harvey Milk was killed 40 years ago. Not because he was just some gay guy on the street either. He was forcing the $hit down everyone's throat. No pun intended. Like I said, there are isolated incidents sure, but not the norm. There are people in all walks of life who take things to the extreme. Look at what happened in Seattle. you want me to lable the whole liberal movement as law breaking citizens with no regard for authority and no respect for cops. It was an isolated incident by the far left loons. Just as the homophobes who injure or even verbally slander homosexuals are a very small portion of people against gay marriage. Most people with yes on prop 8 stickers, which was the prop in CA against gay marriage are moms and dads in mininvans or Suv's and are hardly violent.

SteelCityMom
05-02-2013, 11:14 PM
Our actions and low tolerance for violence and bullying against gays can help change views in other cultures as well (hopefully), like in South Africa where corrective rape is common.



Isolated my ass.

Examples of high profile hate crimes committed against LGBT individuals that have heightened fear and insecurity and perpetuated hate against them include:

In Richmond, California on December 13, 2008, an openly gay 28 year-old woman was attacked and gang raped by four men, including two juveniles, on a street outside her parked car. The perpetrators took her to a second location and assaulted her again, all the while making slurs about her sexual orientation. As Shawna Virago noted, "The only way we know about (the Richmond) case is because of the bravery of the survivor coming out. Hatred and bias are a routine occurrence for many LGBT people." Two men and a teenager were charged on January 6, 2009. Thirty-one year-old Humberto Hernandez Salvador, 21 year-old Josue Gonzalez, and 16 year-old Darrell Hodges were charged with kidnapping, carjacking and gang rape. A 15 year-old boy was also arrested in connection with the attack.54 Hate crime enhancements were added to charges against Salvador.55

"What you get is this kind of immature desire to display power," said Jose Feito, a psychology professor at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California. "And so they go looking for easy victims, or suitable victims." "Suitable" in the Richmond case, according to Feito, meant a victim who the perpetrators could marginalize in their minds due to her sexual orientation and gender nonconformity. "That all ties into blaming the victim, who's seen as flaunting their homosexuality."56

In Oxnard, California on February 12, 2008, 15 year-old Lawrence King was sitting in a computer lab at his junior high school when Brandon McInerney, 14, shot him twice in the head as their fellow students watched in horror. "Even before his death, Larry King was notorious," according to press reports. "He was the sassy gay kid who bragged about his flashy attire and laughed off bullying, which for him included everything from name-calling to wet paper towels hurled in his direction. King was an easy target — he stood 5 foot 4 and was all of 100 pounds."57 In McInerney's bedroom, investigators discovered a "trove" of white supremacist literature and drawings, depicting a "racist skinhead philosophy of the variety espoused by Tom Metzger, David Lane and others," according to a prosecution filing with the court. McInerney is being tried as an adult on a murder count, plus a hate crime allegation.58

In Greeley, Colorado on July 16, 2008, Angie Zapata, 20, was fatally beaten by her date after he discovered she was transgender. Zapata's killer, Allen Andrade, told police that after he discovered Zapata had male genitalia, he hit her twice in the head with a fire extinguisher thinking he had, in his words, "killed it." Andrade was reportedly a member of a Colorado gang that is reputed to have a zero-tolerance policy on homosexuality. He was charged with first degree murder and a hate crime.59 Andrade was found guilty of these crimes on April 22, 2009.

In Greenville, South Carolina on May 21, 2007, Sean Kennedy, a gay man, died of injuries sustained after he was attacked outside a bar. While making derogatory comments regarding Kennedy's sexual orientation, the assailant fatally beat and punched him until he fell, hitting his head on the pavement. The killer was originally charged with murder, but his charge was reduced to involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to five years in prison, which was suspended to three years with credit for the seven months he had already served. He was also ordered to attend both anger management and drug/alcohol management classes. No hate crime was charged as South Carolina is one of only five states (along with Arkansas, Georgia, Wyoming, and Indiana) that do not have a penalty-enhancement hate crime law.60
http://www.civilrights.org/publications/hatecrimes/lgbt.html

In Ohio, they threw bottles and bricks. In California, they carved words into flesh. In Michigan, they went after victims where they worked.

Across the country, episodes of violence against gay Americans grew in number.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released a report last week detailing a startling uptick in violent hate crimes against lesbian, gay and transgender people in 2010, including a sharp rise in hate-related murders.

“This increase in murders signals a pattern of severe, ongoing violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities,” Jake Finney from L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center in Los Angeles, Calif., said in the report.

The 79-page document includes data compiled by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs in New York from more than a dozen organizations in states across the country.

The catalogue of violence includes several gruesome assaults, from the bathroom mutilation of a transgendered Cal State Long Beach student who had the word "It" carved into his chest, to the beating death of a New York toddler "perceived to be too feminine" by his mother's boyfriend.

An second document released by the group describes the slayings in detail. Among them:

In March, a 29-year-old transgender woman Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar was discovered strangled to death in her home in Glendale, Queens, with bleach poured over her body; in September, 26-year-old Calvin Street and a friend were shot and killed after attending a Black Gay Pride event in Atlanta; in October, 31-year-old transgendered woman Stacey Blahnik Lee, was found strangled to death with a pillowcase over her head in her apartment in California; and in November, 18-year-old Joshua Wilkerson was found burned and bludgeoned in rural Texas.

All appeared to have been targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, but because bias laws vary by state, many of the incidents compiled by the coalition were not listed as hate crimes by police.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/18/lgbtq-hate-crimes-up-in-2010_n_896409.html

Crimes against LGBT community are up, despite social gains
•Half of victims did not report the crimes to police, and 61% of victims who did said they experienced indifferent or abusive police attitudes.

•Offenders were mostly strangers, white and non-transgender men.
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-07-31-LGBT-violence-lesbian-gay-transgender-bisexual-survey_n.htm

cubanstogie
05-02-2013, 11:20 PM
In Greeley, Colorado on July 16, 2008, Angie Zapata, 20, was fatally beaten by her date after he discovered she was transgender. Zapata's killer, Allen Andrade, told police that after he discovered Zapata had male genitalia, he hit her twice in the head with a fire extinguisher thinking he had, in his words, "killed it." Andrade was reportedly a member of a Colorado gang that is reputed to have a zero-tolerance policy on homosexuality. He was charged with first degree murder and a hate crime.59 Andrade was found guilty of these crimes on April 22, 2009.

bad example.

SteelCityMom
05-02-2013, 11:27 PM
In Greeley, Colorado on July 16, 2008, Angie Zapata, 20, was fatally beaten by her date after he discovered she was transgender. Zapata's killer, Allen Andrade, told police that after he discovered Zapata had male genitalia, he hit her twice in the head with a fire extinguisher thinking he had, in his words, "killed it." Andrade was reportedly a member of a Colorado gang that is reputed to have a zero-tolerance policy on homosexuality. He was charged with first degree murder and a hate crime.59 Andrade was found guilty of these crimes on April 22, 2009.

bad example.

No, it's not...but well done ignoring everything else posted there lol.

Mind you, these are just random examples that I dug up in 10 minutes.

cubanstogie
05-02-2013, 11:38 PM
No, it's not...but well done ignoring everything else posted there lol.

Mind you, these are just random examples that I dug up in 10 minutes.

yes and they are also 5 years old. Hardly and epidemic. Pretty funny I am called obtuse for using prior history of experience in the gayest city in the world, yet all you can do is use google. LMFAO. I know plenty of gay people, most of their troubles are internal, not brought on by homophobes. But you keep googling the last 40 years around the world and find isolated incidents to prove enslaving, beating and treating like second class citizens is the norm.

cubanstogie
05-02-2013, 11:40 PM
No, it's not...but well done ignoring everything else posted there lol.

Mind you, these are just random examples that I dug up in 10 minutes.

no its not a bad example. What the hell did this he she think would happen when she was trying to pass herself off as a chick to a heterosexual and he found a crank. ACCOUNTABILITY. talk about obtuse.

SteelCityMom
05-02-2013, 11:59 PM
yes and they are also 5 years old. Hardly and epidemic. Pretty funny I am called obtuse for using prior history of experience in the gayest city in the world, yet all you can do is use google. LMFAO. I know plenty of gay people, most of their troubles are internal, not brought on by homophobes. But you keep googling the last 40 years around the world and find isolated incidents to prove enslaving, beating and treating like second class citizens is the norm.

Using the few examples from my own school would be just as bad as you using your limited experience in San Fran. All I can use is Google? At least I'm trying to go beyond my own limited experiences to find out more information.

You can choose to ignore it all you want, but it's an issue and it shouldn't be.

All examples I've give, except for Milk and the list on wiki, are from the past 5 years and in the US.

SteelCityMom
05-02-2013, 11:59 PM
no its not a bad example. What the hell did this he she think would happen when she was trying to pass herself off as a chick to a heterosexual and he found a crank. ACCOUNTABILITY. talk about obtuse.

Thank you for proving this threads point.

I've said all I need to say on this. The facts speak for themselves.

Vis
05-03-2013, 02:18 AM
There are terrible examples of violence against gays. No denying that. But It is also important for cap and others to realize that asking someone to lie and hide such a huge portion of someone's life, who they love, is hurting them. Have whatever beliefs you want but don't dare ask others to alter their lives to fit them.

The_Joker
05-03-2013, 05:05 AM
There are terrible examples of violence against gays. No denying that. But It is also important for cap and others to realize that asking someone to lie and hide such a huge portion of someone's life, who they love, is hurting them. Have whatever beliefs you want but don't dare ask others to alter their lives to fit them.

Anti-religious homophobes are the worst because they have no excuse for their bigotry.

Buddha Bus
05-06-2013, 12:21 AM
I saw these guys the other night on Colbert and this song is amazing and moving. Very appropriate for this discussion. Listen and learn.

mINGKrtG3iw

ricardisimo
05-06-2013, 02:47 AM
no its not a bad example. What the hell did this he she think would happen when she was trying to pass herself off as a chick to a heterosexual and he found a crank. ACCOUNTABILITY. talk about obtuse.
This is some sick joke, right? You're not really dumber than a bag of dicks, right? Please explain the punchline to us.

cubanstogie
05-06-2013, 10:28 AM
This is some sick joke, right? You're not really dumber than a bag of dicks, right? Please explain the punchline to us.

no joke, I think the victim in the case your referring to was the dumb one. Now do I think he deserved to die, no. The killer was crazy and irrational. But even if this incident occurred with a rational heterosexual male who was trying to get laid, lets say someone like Big Ben or some other male ho , this he/she would have at the very least got the $hit beat out of him/her. What did this he/she think was going to happen, that he could convert this guy on the spot. It was fraud. bad example of a gay hate crime, since the gay guy instigated it. If you think this he/she was not a contributing factor in the incident, then in your world I am dumber than a bag of dicks.

Vis
05-06-2013, 10:36 AM
no joke, I think the victim in the case your referring to was the dumb one. Now do I think he deserved to die, no. The killer was crazy and irrational. But even if this incident occurred with a rational heterosexual male who was trying to get laid, lets say someone like Big Ben or some other male ho , this he/she would have at the very least got the $hit beat out of him/her. What did this he/she think was going to happen, that he could convert this guy on the spot. It was fraud. bad example of a gay hate crime, since the gay guy instigated it. If you think this he/she was not a contributing factor in the incident, then in your world I am dumber than a bag of dicks.

What this means is that you believe the killer in the gang with that "policy" when he said that he was fooled and surprised and don't believe that it was obvious and the victim was targeted. Share your inside information on that.

cubanstogie
05-06-2013, 11:11 AM
What this means is that you believe the killer in the gang with that "policy" when he said that he was fooled and surprised and don't believe that it was obvious and the victim was targeted. Share your inside information on that.

I am reading what the paragraph stated, no more. It never stated that he/she was targeted. It said date, I took it as they were out in a date and the killer was surprised.still not justifiable, but still a bad example of hate crime. Now if they targeted the he/she different story. Paragraph doesn't make me believe he/she was targeted though.

Vis
05-06-2013, 02:12 PM
Griner Says She Is Part of Mission to Help All Live in Truth
By BRITTNEY GRINER
When the N.B.A. center Jason Collins announced he was gay last week, I was thrilled. Not only was I extremely happy for him, I thought that maybe, just maybe, his courage and the wave of positive reaction meant that we were on the verge of an era when people accept and celebrate one another’s differences. I think that’s what makes life beautiful: everyone is different and we can all learn from one another.

It takes a lot of courage to come out.

I first came out to my mom in the ninth grade. Even though the story is kind of boring (comparatively), I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was leaning against a wall in our house at the time, not doing anything in particular. For whatever reason, at that moment I let my mom know I was gay. It wasn’t planned. It just popped out. She gave me a hug, smiled and told me she loved me, and I went back upstairs to my room. Simple as that.

I knew then that it didn’t matter what my sexuality was; my mom and family would always love me for who I am. For me, the simplicity behind coming out was both powerful and beautiful. No drama, just acceptance and love.

That’s why I never felt the need to publicly announce I was “out.” People have asked me if I’m at all bothered that my “announcement” after the W.N.B.A. draft last month didn’t receive as much attention as Jason’s. Frankly, it didn’t matter at all to me. I simply answered a question honestly and am just happy to tell my truth and to be in a position to encourage others to do the same. It’s all about living an honest life and being comfortable in your own skin. It strengthens me to know that Jason and I (along with so many other out pioneers and allies) are united in a mission to inspire others who may be struggling. I want everyone to feel at peace and O.K. with being who he or she is.

Just as basketball doesn’t define who I am, neither does being gay.

But that doesn’t mean life was easy growing up. I was bullied in every way imaginable, but the worst was the verbal abuse. (I was always a strong, tough and tall girl, so nobody wanted to mess with me from a physical standpoint.) It hit rock bottom when I was in seventh grade. I was in a new school with people I didn’t know, and the teasing about my height, appearance and sexuality went on nonstop, every day.

People called me a dude and said there was no way I could be a woman. Some even wanted me to prove it to them. During high school and college, when we traveled for games, people would shout the same things while also using racial epithets and terrible homophobic slurs.

(That’s nothing compared with the horrendous things people call me online today — if you don’t believe me, look at the comments about me on Twitter and Instagram.)

No one deserves to go through that type of abuse. When I was young, I put on a face as if it didn’t hurt, but it’s painful to be called hateful names and made fun of because people thought my feet were huge or that I looked like a guy. It was hard to hear antigay slurs under their breath whenever I walked by them. It always confused me; I never thought that to be beautiful, you had to look any certain way at all. In my opinion, you’re beautiful because you are you.

Still, some people have it worse. I think about what Matthew Shepard had to face when he was tortured and chained to a fence in 1998 — I am thankful that Jason, as a veteran professional athlete, took the opportunity to remind people so that it never happens again. I think about that often, but I also think about the kids in middle school and high school today who daily are made to feel so bad about themselves that they contemplate not wanting to live anymore. That really hurts my heart because I’ve been there.

I’ve had moments when I questioned my place in the world. At times, especially in seventh grade, life was lonely and I’d often feel sad. I never wanted to deny who I was, but dealing with the sadness and the anger that came from people constantly making fun of me wore me down at times. I relied heavily on my mom, family and friends to lift my spirits and help me through it — and still do.

It’s taken me a long time to figure out exactly where I fit. During that journey, I realized that everyone has a unique place in this world. I also discovered that the more open I was with my family and friends, the more I embraced others, and the more committed I became to doing the things I love, like basketball, skating and, of course, eating bacon (the greatest food of all time), the more love and confidence I received in return.

I just had to hang in there and be myself.

Jason Collins’s announcement, with the support he has received, has already made me more optimistic than ever that people are ready. More important, that the pace of change is picking up. That’s why I have become involved in the It Gets Better project, whose mission is to inspire hope for young people facing harassment and bullying. Because, people, it’s time for bullying to end. Nobody should have to hear the types of things I did or to feel the way I have.

The good news is that I do see change coming. It might be slow, but there are so many positive signs. After being drafted by the Phoenix Mercury and with more media acknowledging my sexuality, I’ve received more hugs, tweets, thank-yous and well-wishes in regard to being “out” than ever.

Countless people have come up to me and thanked me for being proud of who I am.

It’s my job now to, I hope, be a light who inspires others.

Vis
05-06-2013, 02:15 PM
Be honest. Are any of you the type who would torment her for her sexuality either online, from the stands or in person? And if you are, even if you won't admit it here, please reflect on what kind of person you are deep inside. Then change.

The_Joker
05-06-2013, 03:02 PM
Be honest. Are any of you the type who would torment her for her sexuality either online, from the stands or in person? And if you are, even if you won't admit it here, please reflect on what kind of person you are deep inside. Then change.

Who gives a fuck? Really?

Some dudes like dick. Who cares. Get over it folks.