As the world continues to push for an active athlete to come out on a professional sports teams, several offspring of sports legends have begun leading the charge for change in the sports world. Now, Zeke Thomas, the son of NBA legend Isiah Thomas, has joined that growing list of out sports kids after he recently came out as gay.
Thomas made the surprising admission in a new interview with Out, explaining that he came out to his parents years ago.
“I came out in 2008, my sophomore year at college. My parents like to say they always knew I was gay. I came out to them and they were very accepting. I always knew they would be accepting. Growing up, I had gay uncles, like every kid in America. I never was so scared that my parents were going to shun or disown me—the horror stories you hear. I was just nervous about, “Are my friends gonna accept me because I was a jock kid, so to speak, with an athlete father?”
Thomas claims that, despite media’s stories about homophobia in sports, the NBA, or at least its players, are quite gay-friendly.
“When Jason Collins came out, my father said to me, ‘This isn’t something uncommon.’ He played with gay players. He said, ‘Even in high school, I knew there were gay athletes.” It’s not as big an issue as the media like to make it out: “You’re gonna be shamed in the locker room!”
He also claims that, as the times change, it’s becoming easier for people to redefine masculinity and accept gays into the world of sports.
“I did theater and was in the art scene [in school], but there is a masculine connotation that comes with being an athlete’s kid. Still, I feel like those barriers of masculinity are constantly being broken down and redefined. People like to put labels on everything, and I feel stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason—most of them aren’t true. Even though I’m black and like chicken.”
Now as an adult, Thomas has transitioned from being a “jock kid” to being a successful DJ, playing in New York, Las Vegas, Miami, and his hometown of Detroit. However, Thomas claims that he has experienced homophobia in the world of entertainment,
“Definitely, and even racism. I had a manager who told me I could never be a big DJ and be openly gay. I thought, ‘That makes no sense. You can’t hide who you are.’ Obviously I no longer work with him,” he said.
Despite the naysayers, Thomas has continued to score high-profile gigs, including his upcoming gig as the DJ for the annual NBA All Star game.
Well, we say kudos to Thomas for coming out and for showing other young LGBT kids coming up after him that it does get better and that there is success for people who live out and proud. – nicholas robinson