By Zondra Hughes
Washington Wizards Jason Collins bravely chose to live authentically as a gay man. This is a major victory for gay athletes who have been conditioned (or shamed) to live in the shadows. This is a major victory for Black gay men who have been conditioned (or threatened) to live in the shadows in their everyday lives.
In the big scheme of things, Jason Collins’ bold move to come out was a victory for anyone forced to wear a mask and exist without truly living.
So, I applaud Jason Collins for that; but I can’t help but think about the woman he left behind.
Carolyn Moos, is Jason Collins’ ex-fiancée of EIGHT YEARS and one day, without explanation, Collins told her the wedding was off. “At the time I wanted reasons," she told E!. "I asked of him, 'Can you write some reasons down?'”
Collins told Moos that he would get back to her with the truth one day.
A few days ago, LONG AFTER the cover story was completed, long after he made the personal decision to go public with his sexual preference, Collins finally placed the call to Carolyn and said 'The only reason I never married you is because I'm gay,'" she told E!
Now I ask this—drawing from my formal legal education obtained from my endless stream of Law and Order reruns on Netflix—can Moos sue Collins for damages? She wasted eight years of her life with a man who was struggling with an identity crisis. The abrupt termination of the engagement hit her ego like a ton of bricks, so can she ever recover?
"I think as women, we do have goals and timetables, but I think when you're writing a dream and a life-long script with somebody who you truly believed you're going to wake up to for the rest of your life—that's not easy to let go of,” Moos told E! But I think with time and information, you can have a prospective on it. It's all processing. It's literally three days fresh."
I can only imagine what Carolyn is facing now from her inner circle, the probing questions and accusations about hints and clues she must have missed, i.e., the telltale signs of a man on the down low. The truth is, there are no telltale signs, not really. A gay man can marry, raise a family and keep his true sexual preference hidden until he’s no longer on this side of the grass.
And, as Jason Collins has taught us, a gay man can string you along for years as he sorts things out internally. The silver lining in this scenario is Collins is free, and living his Hollywood ending.
Carolyn Moos--the jilted woman he left behind--deserves one as well.
Oprah talks to Jason Collins: on Oprah's Next Chapter at a special time, Sunday at 7:30/6:30c. #NextChapter