When Derrick Peterson appeared in the pages of a gay magazine last summer, it seemed a breakthrough for black gay and bisexual athletes. Peterson, an American champion 800 meter runner, was hailed as the first active black professional athlete to come out of the locker room closet.
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When interviewed for this article, Peterson denied that he was gay or bisexual and declined to define his sexual orientation. "I don't want to be called something or labeled something that I am not," he said. His comments echoed earlier remarks reported in Genre, in which he said, "I hate labels. I don't really care what people think of my sexual orientation. I like men and women."
While I can't blame Peterson for denying his orientation -- the sporting world is extremely homophobic, backwards and ignorant -- it would have boosted the self-esteem of so many closeted athletes.
This piece is another fine example of Keith Boykin's reporting and writing.
Posted by ronn at February 3, 2003 04:10 PM