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Oprah Winfrey's 90-minute interview with newly out NBA center Jason Collins on last night's Oprah's Next Chapter reminded me of a cross between and alien autopsy and the 2011 movie Weekend. Winfrey combed through the minutiae of Collins' gay life like she was studying a different species and/or like they had just hooked up and were swapping coming-out stories.
It was an over-the-top approximation of a conversation in a perfectly Oprah way. And yet, this treatment was warranted. As the "first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport," Collins' role as a symbol is crucial, but so is his humanity, his specific gay experience. In addition to being a thoughtful, "well-rounded" and masculine individual to help diversify the public's understanding of what being gay can include, his coming-out story is a happy one. Collins' twin brother Jarron, mother, father and aunt whom he first came out to, joined him on the show. Not one of them had a hard time accepting his sexuality. The coming-out-with-ease narrative will only become more prevalent, and Collins' bold move will only help facilitate it.