LeBron James: GQ Cavalier


A team of GQ editors went to Cleveland to play basketball with the 24-year-old. Later they found themselves at a gay club, and realized that some LGBT people and those who hang with them may actually care about sports:

“Later that night, after eating dinner and drinking 200 cans of Schlitz at a little place in the Tremont district of Cleveland called the Prosperity Social Club (if I lived in Cleveland, I would go there every day to eat and drink and pump quarters into the jukebox), we went round and round talking about different moments in the game, mocking ourselves and expressing our awe at him and trying to tease out that quality I was just talking about above. We were sitting next to a wood-burning stove, and we looked around and realized there was some sort of LGBT event going on that night. We were the only people in there who weren’t L or G or B or T. There was a lot of ABBA coming out of the jukebox. I imagined there aren’t a whole lot of places in Cleveland that the L’s and G’s and B’s and T’s feel this at-home, and so I also imagined that this was probably one of the few spots in town, and this one of the few crowds, where the fact of LeBron James doesn’t matter a whole lot. I’m stereotyping, I know, but you get what I mean. But then the owner came over to us, a fantastically friendly woman who’d heard about our playing LeBron that day and wanted to know how the game went. Turns out the Prosperity Social Club was in the running to be the location for an ad shoot featuring LeBron, and she was keeping her fingers crossed. It would mean a lot to them.”

When John Amaechi came out in early 2007, James said he’d rather an athlete be out of the closet: “With teammates you have to be trustworthy and if you’re gay and you’re not admitting that you are, then you are not trustworthy. So that’s like the No. 1 thing as teammates – we all trust each other. You’ve heard of the in-room, locker-room code. What happens in the locker-room stays in there. It’s a trust factor, honestly. A big trust factor.”

Sportrait: LeBron James [tr]


  1. says

    Are straight men this dumb? LeBron James brings b-ball back to Cleveland and gay folk would not care?! Jeesh. Silly. Real silly.

  2. says

    “With teammates you have to be trustworthy and if you’re gay and you’re not admitting that you are, then you are not trustworthy.”

    Please explain why gay folks need to declare their sexuality to their co-workers?
    Especially after the history of negative reactions gays have when coming out to friends, family, and other supposedly “safe” people.

    I’m sure that’s a REALLY safe environment for gays – the lockerroom… coming out to 20 or 30 testosterone-filled athletes. I’m sure there’s never any fag jokes or hate speech happening in a locker room. Just a bunch of grown, naked men undressing and showering togeter and slapping each other on the (straight) butt.

    And athletes have never accosted gay men. EVER.

    …right, Tim Hardaway and Brady Quinn?

    Yup. LeBron’s 24.

  3. dbzeag says

    The irony of this is Lebron plays in a state with the most homophobic laws in the country, and for a city that poorly attempted to get the Gay Games for 2012 by making an unconstitutional “domestic partnership” listing as its token gesture to the gay community.

    And Prosperity Social Club isn’t a gay club per se. They might have had a gayish night.

  4. says

    The domestic partner registry had little or nothing to do with trying to get the Gay Games to Cleveland. Cleveland, and 11 other municipalities in Ohio, have LGBT rights ordinances, a number have hate crime ordinances, Cleveland is adding transgender to its rights ordinances. Conflating the city’s actions with the Cleveland Synergy Foundation’s attempts to beat out Miami, Boston and Washington, D.C. for the 2012 Gay Games is like saying that putting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame there was an early attempt to get the Gay Games.

  5. fuckin mad says


  6. Val says

    A little more research would have been nice…Prosperity Social Club is not a gay club. However, the good thing is that you obviously witnessed one of the cool things about the place – the fact that everyone is welcome and can feel comfortable there…whether you like listening to ABBA or watching LeBron and the Cavs!