Charles Pierce sees Jason Collins’ coming out as especially symbolic:
His explanation for his decision to come out is rich with the historical “dual identity” forced on black Americans under Jim Crow, and the similar dynamic within which he lived as a gay man. Homophobia in the black community — indeed, even among the leaders of the civil rights movement of the 1960s — was some of the most virulent and stubborn of all, and there are still some who resent the equation of the gay rights movement with their struggle. In his announcement in Sports Illustrated, then, Collins gave every indication that he’s fully aware of the historic and cultural dimensions of his decision, and of the sacrifices made elsewhere so that he would be free to make it now.
Adam Serwer takes issue with Pierce, arguing that the race-sexuality issues in Collins’ case “deserve a more…
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