'I believe very strongly in the responsibility of people with power and influence to be role models. Living more openly in the later years of my NBA career was one of the things that radically changed my life. It made me happier. I want to spread my influence in the same way that I was able to because I had a basketball in my hand. I hope now to have perhaps a different lectern to stand behind but with an equally important message.' — Former National Basketball Association player John Amaechi announcing Feb. 11 that he will serve as a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign's Coming Out Project.
'I think [ NBA players' reactions to my coming out ] illustrate the diversity of opinion. Some of them illustrate a great deal of naïveté, and an oversimplification of the issue, and some of them don't speak with much thought at all, but there are some really well-spoken, provocative things that people have said that are positive and they should be added to the conversation.' — Former National Basketball Association player John Amaechi to the Associated Press, Feb. 12.
'From a marketing perspective, if you're a [ professional sports ] player who happens to be gay and you want to be incredibly rich, then you should come out, because it would be the best thing that ever happened to you from a marketing and an endorsement perspective. You would be an absolute hero to more Americans than you can ever possibly be as an athlete, and that'll put money in your pocket. On the flip side, if you're the idiot who condemns somebody because they're gay, then you're going to be ostracized, you're going to be picketed and you're going to ruin whatever marketing endorsements you have.' — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Feb. 12.
'I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States. ... I wouldn't want [ a gay teammate ] . I would really distance myself from him because I don't think that is right. I don't think he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room. ... If you have 12 other ballplayers in your locker room that's upset and can't concentrate and always worried about him in the locker room or on the court or whatever, it's going to be hard for your teammates to win and accept him as a teammate.' — Retired Miami Heat player Tim Hardaway speaking on local radio Feb. 14 about former NBA player John Amaechi's coming out, according to the Miami Herald. Hardaway later apologized several times.
'People in America and England would like to think racism is over, sexism is over, and homophobia is over, but it's not. My coming out will show that gay people don't all look like Jack from Will and Grace. Some of us are big, athletic men, and that should be OK.' — Former National Basketball Association player John Amaechi to the Miami Herald, Feb. 15.
'How much would you bet that Reverend Ted Haggard falls off the wagon in the very near future? I'm serious. I know he just got a big check to shut up and leave town, but you know what he likes to spend his money on! Tick-tock, gentlemen.' — Author Susie Bright writing at The Huffington Post, Feb. 12.Read more story below....
'It's not true. Period. Maybe I should have come out and said, 'No, I'm not [ gay ] ,' but I didn't want to draw any more attention to it. ... I didn't have to prove to anybody that I wasn't [ gay ] . I didn't feel like I really did.' — Country singer Kenny Chesney on TV's 60 Minutes, Feb. 18.
'The male sex scenes actually got more and more difficult as the show [ Queer As Folk ] went along. You start to dread them; doing a sex scene, period, is like simulating sex with a cousin on the dining room table at Thanksgiving. It's the most awkward thing—and there are 35 people standing around. They're spraying you with water to make you look sweaty, and they shoot you from certain angles so it doesn't become porn—and so the audience doesn't see that you're wearing a sock on your crank.' — Actor Hal Sparks to Windy City Times, Jan. 31.
'People think my movies are exaggerations until they come to Baltimore for two days and they see all the characters standing on the street corner.' — Gay filmmaker John Waters to Philadelphia Gay News, Feb. 9.
'How wide should you open a relationship before there's nothing there at all? I can't speak for women except through my own empathy, but I think men in general decide that they have to make contracts with each other that accommodate their maleness. If this other person is truly the primary relationship in your life, and you are devoted to making that clear every moment, then you are far less likely to hurt each other when the opportunity comes to play with someone else. I had trouble with this for many years.' — Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin to the Oregon gay newspaper Just Out, Feb. 2. Maupin's new book, Michael Tolliver Lives, will be released in June.
—Assistance: Bill Kelley