The story in the 9/23 Orange County Register gives all the sad details. 1988 Olympic gold medalist in basketball Cindy Brown is losing the home that she owned since 1989. This after a bitter battle with the city of Villa Park over her dying landscaping -- she lost all her money in an investment scam and couldn't afford upkeep. According to the newspaper, her neighbors were quick to complain to the city -- they apparently had a problem with her being black and an open lesbian.
After the Olympics, Brown played abroad for a number of years before retiring. So often the winning athletes of yesteryear find that they have few friends and fans when they run into economic troubles. After I read the story, I wondered if anybody in our community with financial connections stepped forward to offer Brown some support, advice, or whatever. And if not, why not? And meanwhile we continue to hear the insistent refrain that "LGBT athletes need to come out."
As I look at the rising foreclosure statistics around the country, I wonder how many other LGBT people are losing their homes, and what kind of community-based support or services (if any) we will be offering to those who find themselves on that slippery slope downwards.
Brown does have a lawyer, and is evidently going after the group who bilked her. I hope everything comes out okay for her.