Gay Clubs Inspired Dennis Rodman's NBA Career, He Says

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday November 18, 2021

Dennis Rodman's illustrious NBA career, which includes five titles and a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame, is punctuated by his punk rock appearances.

With multiple piercings, hair colors, and while wearing the occasional dress, Rodman quickly carved out a unique space in the NBA that became a step forward for gender expression.

In a new wide-ranging interview with GQ, Rodman said he got the inspiration for his edgy expression from going to gay clubs and hanging out with drag queens.

His transformation began while playing for the San Antonio Spurs, he explained.

"In San Antonio I started going to gay clubs," he told GQ. "I started going to drag clubs. I started bringing drag queens to games."

More than anything, Rodman said, it was the confidence that he was attracted to.

"When you talk to people in the gay community, someone who does drag, something like that, they're so fucking happy. They hold their head up so high every fucking day, man," he said. "They're not ashamed of shit. They're not trying to prove anything, they're just out there living their lives."

In turn, emulating their style gave him the confidence he needed to live his life to the fullest. He started dressing in drag himself and showing up to NBA events in a dress. The experience reminded him of how his sisters would often dress him up in their clothes when he was young.

"I guess it kind of made me have a sense of awareness of, like, man, I used to dress like this as a kid," he said. "Wearing a dress made me feel good. You know?"

Compared to his ultra popular former Chicago Bulls teammate, Michael Jordan, Rodman said he always felt like the outcast.

"You got the greatest basketball player on the planet [Jordan], the second greatest in Scottie Pippen, and then you got [me] the devil," he said.

Read Rodman's full GQ interview.