Matthew Pattison, an openly gay official for NASCAR, is the subject of the latest "coming out" story. Marty Smith writes, in the article for ESPN.com, that Pattison fits in just fine in the stereotypically homophobic environment of professional auto racing:
From the time he was a small child, NASCAR official Matthew Pattison knew two things for certain: NASCAR would be his life's passion, and he is gay.
"I knew I was gay when I was 5 years old," Pattison, 30, said with a chuckle. "It's a funny thing, but you have those inklings. When the guy is better looking than the girl, you start putting it all together."
Following the powerful Sports Illustrated article by NBA veteran Jason Collins, in which he announced publicly that he is gay and detailed the exhaustion of concealment and the liberation of admission, I thought of Pattison. He is the only openly gay man I know in a sport I've covered for more than 15 seasons.
We've heard from Matthew Pattison before. Five years ago he wrote a letter to Instinct magazine praising his mother and talking then about moving to southern California to pursue his dream in NASCAR. Dream realized.
Hat tip to Queers4Gears