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The Reappearing Act: Coming Out as Gay on a College Basketball Team Led by Born-Again Christiansby Kate Fagan
Synopses & Reviews
Its hard enough coming out, but playing basketball for a nationally ranked school and trying to figure out your sexual identity in the closeted and paranoid world of big-time college sports—thats a challenge.
Kate Fagans love for basketball and for her religious teammates at the University of Colorado was tested by the gut-wrenching realization that she could no longer ignore the feelings of otherness inside her. In trying to blend in, Kate had created a hilariously incongruous world for herself in Boulder. Her best friends were part of Colorados Fellowship of Christian Athletes, where they ran weekly Bible studies and attended an Evangelical Free Church. For nearly a year, Kate joined them and learned all she could about Christianity—even holding their hands as they prayed for others “living a sinful lifestyle.” Each time the issue of homosexuality arose, she felt as if a neon sign appeared over her head, with a giant arrow pointed downward. During these prayer sessions, she would often keep her eyes open, looking around the circle at the closed eyelids of her friends, listening to the earnestness of their words.
Kate didnt have a vocabulary for discussing who she really was and what she felt when she was younger; all she knew was that she had a secret. In The Reappearing Act, she brings the reader along for the ride as she slowly accepts her new reality and takes the first steps toward embracing her true self.
"Fagan, a columnist for ESPN and former University of Colorado basketball player, recounts her experiences coming to terms with her sexuality in this well-crafted memoir. She focuses squarely on her college years, with a few flashbacks to her childhood and a brief ending on her post-college life. Under pressure from several of her teammates, she joins the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and spends a couple years as a believing evangelical. Her slow realization that she is gay competes with her burgeoning faith as what she calls a 'temporary Christian.' Fagan recounts her ultimately unsuccessful attempts to reconcile being an evangelical Christian and being a lesbian along with larger discussions about homophobia in women's college athletics. Despite the subtitle, Fagan only discusses her sexuality with few people while on the team. The memoir's greatest strength is its glimpse into how a variety of lesbian athletes and coaches navigate the homophobic culture of college sports. Although she offers little hope for reconciling homosexuality and Christianity and repeats many of the same types of stories of other coming-out tales, Fagan's work will appeal to readers hoping to better understand the complications of being gay in sports." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Kate Fagan: Kate Fagan is a columnist and feature writer for espnW, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. She is also an in-studio contributor for The Word, a digital video segment that examines hot topics in sports. Previously, Fagan spent three seasons covering the 76ers for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her work has earned her multiple awards, and she has been featured on Longreads, a site that curates the best in long-form journalism and fiction. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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