Isaac Humphries begins to talk about his sexuality and says that he can lift 25 years off his shoulders.
Humphries, who plays in Australia’s National Basketball League for Melbourne United, has never spoken out publicly about his sexuality, fearing it would impact his career.
He now says that he is ready to “live his true life” and play top-flight basketball as an openly gay man.
Humphries stated, “Forever, I believed that being a professional player in basketball and being gay were mutually exclusive”
“I decided to come out because I believe I can be myself in my environment and that I can change how people view homosexuality in sport.”
Jason Collins, a former NBA player, became the first openly homosexual athlete in any of the four major North American sporting leagues in 2013 after he came out later in his career.
Josh Cavallo is an Australian soccer player who plays for Adelaide United. He came out as gay last year.
Humphries says that he had to come to terms with his sexuality before he felt comfortable enough to let it go.
He adds, “My self-hate and self-homophobia – all that was in my brain were very, very real. It got so dark that it made me think about leaving this world.”
“I didn’t want to be like this. I didn’t believe I was allowed to exist in my basketball world.”
Humphries believes that his passion for basketball saved his life. He also believed that he could help others who were in similar situations.
He says that his Melbourne United team is so accepting and that he feels “honored” to be able to play basketball. However, the center of six feet and 11 inches in height points to the locker room atmosphere as one barrier to him feeling at home as a gay man playing the sport.
Humphries says that the environment is very masculine. It’s not as advanced as the rest. In those locker rooms, it’s a bit slower in time. The idea of homosexuality is often discussed in a negative light.
He adds, “It’s our work environment at the end” We are there every day, and we become one family. They want their family members to feel at ease in their surroundings.
Humphries, 24, has been exposed to many sporting environments around the world. He played Division 1 NCAA college basketball for Kentucky Wildcats, before moving on to the NBA, G-League, and Europe.
In 2020, he returned to Australia to play with the Adelaide 36ers. He then signed for Melbourne in early 2018.
Humphries is back to his best in the last four games. He averages 16.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per match. But he said that it was in Los Angeles last summer that he felt happy about his sexuality, after witnessing members of the LGBTQ+ community live in a positive atmosphere.
He claims that he has seen a profound change in his life since deciding to come out.
Humphries says, “I have 25 years of weight off my shoulders.”
It’s more than just weight. It’s deeply-rooted feelings and weight that are lifted from you. It’s exhilarating. It’s an incredible feeling not to have to hide anymore, not to have to pretend or make up stories.
He says, “I’m starting a new lifestyle – it’s almost like a birthday.” “It’s unbelievable that this is happening. It is so different from the dark times I had. That is what I am most grateful for.”