Coming Out: It's Not Just for Players Anymore...

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    Jun 26, 2013 1:42 PM GMT
    High School Basketball Coach Tells Team He's Gay

    http://deadspin.com/high-school-basketball-coach-tells-team-hes-gay-574899628

    DeadspinWorth your time: MSG Varsity has a thorough report on 35-year-old Anthony Nicodemo's decision to out himself as a gay man. Nicodemo is the basketball coach at Saunders, a high school in Yonkers, N.Y. He was inspired to come out after having met Jason Collins at a recent LGBT sports summit in Oregon.

    Nicodemo had already informed his assistant coaches, close friends, and officials in both the Yonkers school district and the school district in which he teaches. The last step came yesterday, during a meeting with his players and some of their parents. Nicodemo admitted he was afraid of how his players would react. Much to his surprise, they didn't even flinch when he told them the news:


    [url]http://www.msgvarsity.com/optimum/RetrievePremiumContent?id=1PqSE2WAU2f%2FMQ0e4Spk6N98fErb32l2d00uWEhHH5k%3D[/url]

    MSG Varsity“For years and years I’ve told you guys you have to be good, you have to be yourselves, you have to be honest,” Nicodemo said. “And I wasn’t honest for the past 35 years in my life.

    The hush in the room was met with a paralyzing stillness. Nicodemo continued.

    I mean this from the bottom of my heart that this is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life,” he said. “But I am a gay high school basketball coach.

    As he surveyed the room, Nicodemo was shocked by the players’ immediate reaction.

    There was none.

    My fear was today. My fear was meeting with my team,” he later said. “They blew me away today.”
  • Sportsfan1

    Posts: 479

    Jun 27, 2013 2:16 AM GMT
    As a former teacher, I am retired now, I know the challenges of teaching(coaching) at the high school level. I would like to express my support and admiration for this brave man. Best of luck!
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    Jun 27, 2013 2:22 AM GMT
    I saw this earlier today.

    It's always wonderful when folks choose to lead rather than cower.

    That's how gay folks win acceptance. When The Public regards gay is no big deal is when we've won. When someone like a school teacher, a fire fighter, a cop, a business guy, say's "Hey, I'm gay, but, it's not contagious." many folks don't give it a second thought, and...that's the way it needs to be.

    The more folks find out gay / bi folks are more like them, the more acceptance gay folks get.

    Gay has won, it's just that it take time for social attitudes to wiggle out to the very edges, but...GAY HAS WON.

    Now, please, don't throw you pink tutu in some GOP guy's face. That sets us all back. Be who you are, but, don't be antagonistic.

    If you blast hip hop at 0500, and you're black, folks develop stereotypes. Don't do that. (I've never never been awakened by hip hop by a non-black person...ever...so it's easy for me to develop a stereotype about antagonistic black people. ) Same goes for gay folks.

    Steady as she goes. Gay has won.

    Yes, understand the illiterate and the religious, but, they will fall into line, too, if we ease them along, and if their children ease them along.

    The USA is undergoing a vast cultural change, and...it's mostly for the good. Whether the GOP, Bible Thumpers, and Right Winger like it, or not. Gay has won.

    When that gay coach made his own gay proclamation he may have well saved several of his closeted gay students. We lead by example, even if leading is sometimes hard. That's what separates the men from the boys.

    I'm Chuck Gudgel. I'm gay, but, it's not contagious. You can google me. Pleased to meet you.
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    Jun 27, 2013 2:37 AM GMT
    Brave or foolhardy. High school kids are vicious. All that's needed is one pissed off kid to scream coach inappropiately touched me or coach had sex with me and his career could wind up in the toilet faster than a NY minute. All that's needed is just the accusation and his career could be over.

    When I was in school I knew nothing of the personal lives of my teachers beyond if they were married or not and that was only because they wore wedding bands. Who their spouse was, I had no clue. Some may have been gay. I don't know. Some we suspected of being gay, but didn't give it a second thought beyond lunchroom gossip.

    I don't think it was necessary or prudent for him to reveal something of such a personal nature to high school students.
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    Jun 27, 2013 2:43 AM GMT
    UndercoverMan said...
    I don't think it was necessary or prudent for him to reveal something of such a personal nature to high school students.


    Sorry; all kinds of wrong here.
    Had I known one of my Coaches were gay, I doubt I'd spent a hot second in the closet.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Jun 27, 2013 2:47 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidWhen that gay coach made his own gay proclamation he may have well saved several of his closeted gay students.

    UndercoverMan saidI don't think it was necessary or prudent for him to reveal something of such a personal nature to high school students.

    Interesting juxtaposition of opinions. I appreciate UndercoverMan's perspective. It's true, teens can be horrid and this teacher has put himself at risk. But, having grown up gay in a homophobic world where I was NOT given good gay role models, I agree more with Chucky. Too many times in my teen years I came too close to ending it all *because* I was gay and because I felt isolated, alone, and in a hostile world.
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    Jun 27, 2013 3:08 AM GMT
    dustin_K_tx said
    UndercoverMan said...
    I don't think it was necessary or prudent for him to reveal something of such a personal nature to high school students.


    Sorry; all kinds of wrong here.
    Had I known one of my Coaches were gay, I doubt I'd spent a hot second in the closet.


    Oh please, gay high school students see all sorts of gay people in their lives and most remain closeted until after high school and even college. Most are not emotionally or mentally ready to deal with it at that point in heir lives. When I was in high school the gay liberation movement was heating up and there were many obviously gay people in the media and a few on staff yet I and many others remained closeted. I doubt one gay teacher/coach would have made a difference.

    Again, I can just imagine a kid going home to his parents and saying he talked to Coach Tony - you know mom, the gay one. I told him I thought I was gay and he told me it was ok to be gay. Now imagine his parents were fundamentalist christians or orthodox jews or muslims or just parents who feel it's not a coache's place to be speaking of sexual matters with their 15 year old. After all we are paying him to coach baseball not sex ed. Potential end of career for coach.

    I just think he's unnecessarily opening himself up to potentially career ending situaions.
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    Jun 27, 2013 3:49 AM GMT
    Man, did I totally give up on this thread! icon_lol.gif
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    Jun 27, 2013 3:52 AM GMT
    dayumm saidMan, did I totally give up on this thread! icon_lol.gif


    It started out so well.
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    Jun 27, 2013 3:52 AM GMT
    UndercoverMan saidBrave or foolhardy. High school kids are vicious. All that's needed is one pissed off kid to scream coach inappropiately touched me or coach had sex with me and his career could wind up in the toilet faster than a NY minute. All that's needed is just the accusation and his career could be over.


    That's the calculated risk for all coaches AND teachers, regardless of their orientation. Somehow it hasn't stopped men from coaching women's sports of every type, and it shouldn't slow this guy down one bit, either.
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    Jun 27, 2013 4:18 AM GMT
    You never know a coming-out candidate's motivations for finally taking the big step.

    Remember that this gentleman, who's probably closer in age to you and I than the kids he's coaching, needed Jason Collins to prompt him.

    While I can only guess what Jason anticipated by result of his coming out, it was probably the motivation of young men to feel free to do so with sound conscience. This guy is actually a tad older than Jason. Collins' coming out will get many to follow suit across the age spectrum.

    While many teens "are not emotionally or mentally ready to deal with it at that point in heir lives," a whole lot more were really not ready when sodomy was illegal, when your sexuality was long classified as a mental disorder, when no two men or two women could get married without a sex change, when you could get fired (or WORSE) around the country just for the voluntary or involuntary revelation... and "gay panic" was an acceptable excuse for the adverse actions against you.

    With much of that relaxed or removed, and with teens and young adults given sudden responsibilities like driving 4,000 pound vehicles in 70 mph traffic, becoming the "man of the house," or preparing for war in faraway locales, when it comes to other people's sexual orientation these days, in most cases... the Kids are Alright. As was the case here.

    The coach's upbringing and experiences (and recent news right there in NYC) told him he had a right to be scared of the possible immediate reaction. A generation later, the teens' upbringing and experiences assured him his greatest fears are largely unfounded.

    Imagine the other end of the spectrum: a kid with a homophobic upbringing (and potentially a future hate crime assailant) getting a second thought about what it means (or DOESN'T mean) to be openly gay. "For years and years I’ve told you guys you have to be good..." His influence can put his job at risk, sure. But it can also transform and save some lives.