|Our Bi-phobia placed on Sheryl Swoopes|
To some in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities (LGBTQ), three-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time MVP of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), Sheryl Swoopes, is a “lie-sexual,” another sister-girl on the “down low” with the incredulous news that she’s now engaged to marry a man.
To incurable homophobes, especially of the fundamentalist Christian variety type, who peddle their “nurture vs. nature” rhetoric that homosexuality is curable with reparative theories, they see Swoopes as the prodigal daughter who has finally found her way home to Jesus.
And to many of my heterosexual African American brothers, Chris Unclesho, the man Swoopes is engaged to marry, is “the MAN!” a bona fide “dyke whisperer” who has turned Swoopes out to the sexual joys of what it is to be with a man.
Depending on which of the above groups you identify with, Swoopes’ news sends seismic shock waves to those of us fighting the de-medicalization and de- stigmatization of queer sexualities.
And for those cheering Swoopes’ news with thunderous applauses that she has gone straight again, proves sadly to, folks like Republican presidential hopeful, Michele Bachmann, that our continuous struggle for LGBTQ civil rights is nothing merely than a politicized hedonistic gay agenda to upend traditional family values.
“It is amazing to me that after all the HOOPLA surrounding Sheryl Swoopes ‘coming out’… her recent marriage to a MAN get’s virtually no attention. Is she now UN-GAY?… Why is the fact that this woman went through a period of ‘trial’ in her life NOT getting any press? It is obvious that the woman just like every other gay or lesbian man or woman in the world had at that time made a CHOICE to entertain the idea of being with someone of the same gender. Sheryl is just more proof that no one is born gay, it is a learned behavior brought on by experiences and circumstances in one’s life. I am very happy for Sheryl—but the ‘gay agenda’ driven PRESS can bite it,” an ESPN.com blogger wrote.
My head spins at the thought of how Christian “de-gaying” counseling services, like Dr. Marcus Bachmann’s, Michelle Bachmann’s spouse, could politicize Swoopes’ seemingly sexual flip-flopping as their poster-child.
In 1997, a pregnant Sheryl Swoopes, promoting a heterosexual face for the WNBA, was the cover-girl for the premiere issue of “Sports Illustrated Women.” At the time Swoopes was married to her male high school sweetheart. In 2005, Swoopes came out as a lesbian, becoming the second in the WNBA, and endorsed the lesbian travel company “Olivia.” She’s at this time partnered with Alisa Scott, an assistant coach for the Houston Comets that Sheryl played for from 1997 to 2007. And now, in 2011, she’s with a male.
And while many suspect Swoopes has indeed found Jesus in a Bible-thumping homophobic church because there been a lot about God posted on her Facebook which might explain her flip-flopping, Swoopes has neither renounced homosexuality nor retracted her 2005 “coming out” statements about being a lesbian.