While watching the Warriors game last night I almost feel out of my chair and then leaped for joy when I found out that Warriors president Rick Welts got married to his partner of nine years Todd Gage. I feel like such a bad gay sometimes. I didn’t even know Rick Welts was gay! Shame on me I know. I’m so happy for the couple and I wish them many years of love, friendship and happiness. It’s so refreshing, and absolutely crucial in the fight for full equality and acceptance, to see successful gay men out and proud and commemorating their love and relationship.
Anti-gay forces have long levied the inaccurate criticism at LGBTQ+ folks that we can’t have or sustain healthy long-term relationships. This has been untrue and a lie used intentionally by enemies of equality and diversity for decades. A long over due change in this particular perception of gay people was a huge crack in the dam of public sentiment that tilted the gay marriage fight in our favor. Rightfully so, right!? Harvey Milk used to say, “The number one enemy of gay people everywhere, anytime, is invisibility!” It’s important that we don’t allow anyone or anything to push us or intimidate us out of the light of the sun and into the shadow of secrecy and the closet.
In closing, I want to also note for the record how significant and important this is for the sports world in relation to gays. Sports in America and this continent have long been a massive landscape devoid of any public representation of our community. Specifically, there are no openly gay athletes or coaches in the NBA. As an avid sports fan for most of my life, this has always made me a little bit sad. Obviously, we know that there ARE gay athletes in the NBA, and in every other sport in the U.S. but it is territory that has not yet been trail blazed. This is why I was so happy when I saw this break on the televised broadcast last night. Rick Welts is the first and only NBA team executive to stand up and stand out, and not just for being gay (he did that back in 2011), but also for being gay married!