Warning: This post includes details which are very personal about the author and her backstory. For those in the LGBTQ+ community, this material may or may not be triggering. It shouldn’t be, but this is here just to give you a heads up! Also, please be nice and avoid bigotry in the comments, posting this wasn’t easy. Finally, this is not the entirety of how I came out, and why, etc, just how I can relate it to the Bucks. Thanks in advance!
Hi Bucks fans! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I just want to state that this was a tough way for the Milwaukee Bucks to go out. Having Khris Middleton go down, and then being right there and even with Boston for six and a half games, and then to go out like that just sucks. That’s the point of this post; to wallow in misery and come out the other side being okay with the future. I hope you’re ready to join me.
Let me preface this with, during the season (and before that on my own accord), I came out as a transgender female to the site. I’m very happy with the direction I’m going, but it took me a long time to get to this point. Back when I was using my other name, that “guy” was the one who was in the Deer District on Game 5, and I remember now that it’s called Trinity. I remember the jumping and screaming from the Jrue Holiday steal, and then things kind of blacked out for me. Not in a drunk way, but my emotions just became real salty, and I didn’t know why. I remember seeing a female Bucks fan getting hug-twirled by some dude after they won, and that ruined my night even though the Bucks just did something spectacular. I wanted/envisioned myself being that girl fan instead of me, and was confusedly-upset, and that made me feel bad. It seems small, but those small things really can spiral with the right surrounding environment. I walked out of the bar alone without my friends, inebriated and confused, and then I could see fireworks going off over Giannis’ giant poster-head in between the buildings and I just stared (he was the only one I could see through the buildings). My mind wanted to be happy, but there was just something going on.
For Game 6, I was at my favorite local establishment (Christy’s Landing, and for those of you who live in Madison I highly recommend it for summertime) and that kind of feeling didn’t happen to me. I was ecstatic, I have a really bad selfie of myself with the TV in the background from that night, and man I just wouldn’t let that get me down. But the next morning, I remembered that twirl again and then staring at Giannis. If winning Game 5 of the freaking NBA Finals could happen and I was still in my beautiful feelings in a negative fashion at the time, I needed to figure out what I had to change in my life.
It’s kind of crazy looking back at it; it took the Bucks winning an NBA championship for me to start to transition. I’m mostly kidding, I didn’t actually come out because the Bucks were good at basketball, like that would be the weirdest coming out story ever, right? But that’s the first time I really knew that I had to do something. It’s still not easy and probably won’t ever be, but I’m getting better. It’s why I’ve stated before that I don’t drink anymore in my posts, that’s helped me immensely and I personally suggest it for all of us*.
It also showed me that when it comes to big losses, it can be hard to think that there is more than the game. I’m sure the unhappy drunk crowd was out there on Sunday night, hopefully being responsible, but whilst in the moment it can be hard to realize what is truly important. It’s important to be able to enjoy who you are and spend time doing the things you love. I was too afraid this season to go into Fiserv Forum because of my transition (being in an enclosed space, the bathrooms, etc.), but every day it gets easier so I will be there next year.
Basketball is important to all of us here, but at the end of the day, is the Bucks’ winning or losing the end of the world? It only affects us how we let it affect us, and the Bucks know better than anybody that life is bigger than basketball (see: Bubble, 2020). And even still, we should count ourselves somewhat lucky. In my lifetime of almost 30 years, meaning 30 teams have been crowned champion in my life, these franchises have not won a title:
That’s 60% of all NBA teams that have not won a championship. If you include since I started paying attention in 2003, you could even add Chicago and Houston. In the last 20 years, we are just one of 10 franchises to win! Think about how hard that is. The New York teams have the markets, Utah and Portland have been solid-to-good the entire time, Oklahoma City had three MVPs on the same team, Denver has the back-to-back MVP, New Orleans seemingly drafts a superstar every fifth year, Phoenix had some really good teams, and so on.
So now, it’s another team’s turn, and while all four remaining teams have won in the last 20 years, Miami, Dallas and Boston are all at least 9 years ago. We should be grateful that we got to witness what the Bucks were able to accomplish in the 2021 NBA season. And thankful that they have as good of a chance as anyone to do it in 2023 (here come the pessimists). And even if you don’t want to be grateful, like I was before, remember that we don’t live and die based on the Bucks, even on Brew Hoop. We all voluntarily are fans, because we like to be fans, and based on everything we have signed up for another 90% of our lives (at minimum, assuming you live another 30 years) having a season without a title.
Enjoy the rest of the playoffs, because we won’t be tipping off again until October. Thank you for being supporters of the site, and remember, it’s important to remember a statement that I connected with my transition that also applies with the Bucks (see? there is a segue).
I’m very happy with the direction I’m going, but it took me a long time to get to this point.
Apply that to the Bucks, it took my whole life to be proud of the organization without having to look hard for reasons, just like it is still taking me time to be proud of myself but it’s becoming much easier. I hope you feel the same way about the franchise as well. I hope you all have a good off-season, because as long as we have Giannis, we are contenders and will be right back next year.
*Re: drinking – Ask in the comments if you want me to go into more detail on that subject.