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One Lesbian Basketball Player's Story

College Athletics and Homophobia


Note: This article was submitted by a reader. Both her name and the name of the University have been changed to protect her privacy. I’ve substituted the real name of her college with Basketball University or BBU. The rest of her story is true.

My experience as a lesbian playing college basketball
By Lori

I first became interested in girls when I was about 15 yrs. old. I was so secretive about it and never thought I would get out to anyone. My senior year, I decided to sign my basketball scholarship to Basketball University in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). When I first met the girls that played there, I couldn't really pick out any that I thought were gay except for maybe the point guard. I remained at BBU for a year and a half as a red-shirt freshman, and throughout my time there I later found out that there were about 4 girls on the team who were gay also. They were all pretty secretive about themselves like me. No one really talked about being gay or anything. I was in "THE BIBLE BELT", so you can imagine how homosexuality was looked upon there. I learned first hand that it wasn't accepted.

Lonely Year

First of all, I went in to BBU with a little depression because my parents were just going through with a divorce and I had to sit out my whole senior year in basketball because I tore my ACL in the beginning of the basketball season. I was having to rehab my knee everyday and later found out that the coach wanted to red-shirt me at BBU. I knew I had to be strong because I wasn't used to sitting on the bench and this would be the 2nd year I was going to have to sit out. Not only did I have the divorce and my knee to worry about, but I was also trying to cover up my sexuality. Being gay was always hard for me, because I was too worried about what people would think of me. I was a basketball star back home, and I wasn't ready to come out as being gay. I just kept thinking of how people would look at me if I did come out.

The year I red-shirted at BBU, I felt very lonely because I was too uncomfortable to be with a girl and bring them around my teammates who weren't gay. The ones that weren't gay acted funny towards me sometimes because I think that they suspected I was gay. Now remember, these were girls who seemed to be very religious and did all the regular "straight" stuff that girls do. Talking about guys, going out with them, and sometimes making comments about gay girls. I was unhappy at BBU for a lot of reasons, but I think the fact that I was gay and had to feel unaccepted made me the most unhappy of all. I wasn't very obvious to most people, because for the most part I dressed girly and was told that I was a very beautiful girl. I kept thinking to myself and still do sometimes that maybe I should just go all out on looking gay so that people won't have to doubt whether I am or not.

I hate when I get hit on by guys because I know that I don't want to be with a guy. Anyways, one day I got tired of feeling the way I was feeling at BBU I didn't know how to meet other gay girls. I decided to post a profile of myself on yahoo personals that described my likes and interests and also had a picture of me on the profile. It also told that I was a BBU basketball player and was trying to meet other gay girls.

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