John Amaechi talks to The Advocate

By

Originally published on Advocate.com February 07 2007 12:00 AM ET

In his
soon-to-be-released autobiography Man in the
Middle,
John Amaechi chronicles his life growing up in
Manchester, England, overcoming odds to play in the NBA, and
coping with the frustration and anguish of being a
closeted professional athlete. He also plans to come
out publicly on ESPN’s Outside the Lines
on February 11 to, as he puts it, make his position clear.
“I am gay, black, British, smart, dumb, patronizing,
stubborn, all these other things—flawed in many
ways—and I am now asserting my activism,”
Amaechi tells Advocate editor Anne Stockwell in
his first gay press interview.

Though his
sexuality has been a topic of speculation for years, the
press always seemed to maintain a blind eye, even when
he acknowledged being gay to reporters. “People
have these boxes that they want to throw you
in,” Amaechi tells Stockwell. “If
you’re big and black, it’s not the first
conclusion they jump to.”

Read John
Amaechi’s entire interview in the March 13 issue of
The Advocate, on stands February 27.