John Amaechi chatted with fans and readers on washingtonpost.com today, fielding questions about his NBA experiences, his buzz-magnet memoir, “Man in the Middle,” and his decision to come out after leaving pro basketball. Amaechi doesn’t sugarcoat his answers, but he reports that the positive reaction to his personal revelation exceeded his expectations, “so it’s been a pleasant surprise.”
D.C. [a question from a District of Columbia resident]: The biggest issue I see is with sharing locker rooms/shower facilities. Would you be offended if the news came out while you were active in the NBA and it was requested that you have separate locker facilities? They would never allow coed locker rooms, so why not for those who have different orientations?
John Amaechi: The question is so absurd—the idea that gay people can’t keep their hands or eyes or thoughts off other men, especially straight men, is absurd. It’s based on all the worst stereotypes. This is all based on the idea that gay people are predators and cant keep their hands off people. If people can’t look back 60 years at separate water fountains and separate bathrooms, then people will never learn from history.