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The Reappearing Act: Coming Out on a College Basketball Team Led By Born-Again Christians

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  266 ratings  ·  49 reviews
It’s hard enough coming out, but playing basketball for a nationally ranked school and trying to figure out your sexual identity in the closeted and paranoid world of big-time college sports—that’s a challenge.

Kate Fagan’s love for basketball and for her religious teammates at the University of Colorado was tested by the gut-wrenching realization that she could no longer i
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Skyhorse
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Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting and important content. I found it a bit drawn out, think it would have worked better as some passages condensed into a long-form article.
Fagan was a student—and basketball player—at the University of Colorado when she realised that she was gay. It was an inopportune time and place for the realisation: while it's not clear from the book how religious/conservative the university and town were, her team was dominated by a crew of evangelical Christians who were very, very clear about where they stood on the subject of sexuality.

The book's subtitle indicates that this is a coming-out story, but in many ways it's more of a staying-in-
Sadly familiar story

What a sadly familiar story. Kate Fagan's well written story of her journey to accept herself through this struggle of coming to terms with who she is when everyone around her was telling her she was wrong.

This book hit home in many ways. I'm proud of Kate for making her way through the tough times. It's hard realizing you're different when the people you are surrounded by are unaccepting of that perfectly "normal" difference. Thank you for telling your story and for living y
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A touching and very well written autobiography. Kate Fagan does an excellent job in discussing the acid sting of rejection and the freedom that comes from being out of the closet. After purchasing this book, I tore through it in a day and when I did have to stop reading (hey, sometimes you have to go to work) I couldn't wait to get back to see what would happen next.
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtq
As a queer alumni of the same university as the author, many of the situations she described resonated with me and my experience. However there were quite a few glaring issues with this book for me. It seemed that the author has an incredible amount of internalized homophobia. Most people do and coming out helps to heal those feelings but does not eradicate them. So, I could forgive her for not closing the book happily or with some great personal victory in her journey for self acceptance but it ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fagan, in a very real and very personal way, details her struggles with realizing she is lesbian while being surrounded by people who think homosexuality is a sin. I discovered this book when I started following Fagan on Twitter after enjoying her work as an Around the Horn panelist. I can't imagine going through what Fagan went through and the negative reaction of her close friends and parents is gut wrenching.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
In trying to be accepted and fitting in with the Christian Bible crowd, the author denies her possible lesbianism that is painfully stretched out through years of internal homophobia, even beyond college. Two issues I couldn't get over were that she was not religious in the first place and accepted the Bible study as dogma, an that she continued her denial well after college. She was living in New York, she was covering the NBA. The last chapter covers to much and is rushed.
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
College sports and sexual identity, a tricky mix. I wanted to see more from the conversations with Kris, Ashley, and Coach Barry (the latter which ended up lasting just about a page long). Fagan instead focuses on the relationship with Dee. I get it, it’s a best friend who turns her back on Fagan, but I feel the reader would have more to gain from learning about these other relationships during Fagan’s playing time at Colorado.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was gripping. It was powerful and moving, and showed the difficulties of growing up gay in a world so quick to condemn, persecute, judge. Kate Fagan is an amazingly strong woman to have gone through the things she did and still be so successful. She is a true inspiration. I recommend this book not only to those struggling to come out of the closet, but to those who believe in “Hate the sin, not the sinner.” I believe both will find great knowledge in this story. To those struggling to ...more
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A warmly human, as-honest-as-it-gets memoir of the anguished part of Fagan's life and career to now. In an age (2004) where coming out was certainly not as relatively easy and certainly not celebrated as it is today (2017) what comes across here is not so much her courage in a social sense (she didn't feel like a pioneer or even much of a role model as many do today) but her mental toughness to work through the competing/conflicting spiritual and Spiritual storms in her life. It's an easy read, ...more
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I picked up "The Reappearing Act" from the library on a Saturday afternoon and finished it by Sunday morning. Why couldn't I put it down? Because this slice-of-life memoir has all the page-turner-y goodness of a novel, plus the authenticity of author's real struggles as a gay college athlete circa 2001. Fagan deftly alternates between the process of coming out over several basketball seasons and flashbacks to earlier memories that play off the main action as it unfolds. The result is a narrative ...more
Russell Throne
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an interesting read. To follow along with Kate Fagan and she describes what she went through is both heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. To see her battles with her emotions and desires and not knowing what they mean while also having to deal with the pressures and prejudices of others and the pain and anguish that it caused her is very eye opening and intense. If you ever wondered why some people never come out or hold it so close to the bone, this is a good read to help underst ...more
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I appreciated Kate's story as she came to terms with her sexuality and her relationships with her Christian friends. It was confusing at times because it wasn't always clear when in time various events or conversations were happening. I also felt the sentence structure was very basic and repetitive, and there were a lot of physical details that didn't need to be included.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A personal memoir thoughtfully written. My own beliefs are not the same but Kate Fagan shares her heart and story well. It gives a lot of ground for contemplation. Her objections to evangelical Christianity are not frivolous or shallow, but personal and touching.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow. I don't know much about US college sports so this was an interesting insight into that world. But primarily I found the evangelical Christianity pretty shocking. In any other context, this would be recognised as radicalisation.
Joseph Jupille
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: athletics
This was pretty amazing. Open, honest, unflinching. I think the world has come a long way since Ms. Fagan was in Boulder, but I know that we certainly still have a long way to go. Brava, Kate!
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kate Fagan is an honest and brilliant writer. This book is a captivating read about embracing the essence of who you are.
Heather A
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
very well written and relatable.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not my normal read but I'll be meeting the author this spring so wanted to read it. Very powerful and great audio narrator.
Jenni Frencham
Fagan, Kate. The Reappearing Act: Coming Out as Gay on a College Basketball Team Led by Born-Again Christians. Skyhorse Publishing. 2014. $24.95. 200p. HC 978-1-62914-205-0.

Kate Fagan’s memoir recounts her life on the University of Colorado’s women’s basketball team. Though not from a religious family, Fagan aligned herself with the evangelical Christians on her team, attending Bible studies and worship services and attempting to convince others to repent. However, Fagan soon realized that she w
Jessica Dolan
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There is currently a larger and more consistent dialogue in this country surrounding the issue of coming out in sports and perhaps an even larger one on faith and sexuality and ultimately how these two ideas are going to exist legally (amongst other things).

What is significant about Kate's book is her ability to be vulnerable in her own process of coming out. This book is honest, heartbreaking at times and beautifully written. While it is an important contribution to the discussion; it is also
Feb 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a short memoir about Kate Fagan's experiences of realizing she was gay and coming out while playing basketball for the University of Colorado. Many of her friends and teammates at the time were heavily involved in Fellowship of Christian athletes, something she participated with them in. When she finally gets up enough courage to share her secret with her friends she is essentially shunned except when they are drilling in to her that her actions are a sin leading her ultimately to comple ...more
Rob Montana
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a compelling book that I couldn't put down. It's a very honest and unflinching look at a former top tier athlete's coming out process in the face of widespread homophobia among teammates covered by their clinging to their Bibles. I can't imagine what this emotional and difficult experience must have been like, nor can I imagine what it must have been like to relive those experiences as Kate was writing this book. I've never been through an experience like she has, but I do know that if ...more
This was less about coming out and more about finding herself. Kate Fagan describes her time as a college athlete, where she agreed to attend Christian Fellowship meetings with some of her teammates but then realized she was gay and had to hide it from the homophobic Christians. There was very little about what the team members who weren't part of that community thought and it doesn't sound like Kate tried to reach out to them once she realized that the answers given by the Christian activists w ...more
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Though this book is a coming out story in the world of women's collegiate basketball, I believe it is much more about acceptance of who you are and who you want to be. It is the struggle with a society that tells us who we should be, how we should act, and who we should love.

Kate Fagan shares her struggle and journey through a world that is not very accepting. Unfortunately, it is a story that many have gone through and many are still going through in the world of women's sports. I applaud Kate
Kara Rathke
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
A beautiful story about an athlete struggling with with her religious beliefs and sexuality. I great read for anyone struggling to let their real self show through"...the pain of living in a glass closet. You tell yourself that you're just wearing a coat, protecting yourself in public against the elements. You tell yourself it's just temporary, that someday you'll take off the coat and be the real you. But eventually, years later, when the time comes and you're finally ready to shed it forever, ...more
Maggie Hendricks Gaines
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kate Fagan's book tells about her experience on a college basketball team full of evangelical Christians while coming to terms with her own sexuality. She holds nothing back, and is honest and open. The book is not just about being gay or being an athlete, but about the human experience of being an outsider. She does it in a way that is universal, so it's not a sports book but a book with sports as a background.
C Tabor-froschauer
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kate's story is inspirational for any one, gay or not, struggling to be accepted. Kate's story shares her struggles, roadblocks and successes on the road to finding acceptance with herself, family and friends. The Reappearing Act is the perfect tool for any teenager/young adult facing the same circumstances - a book that should be in every middle school and high school library and guidance office.
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: absolute-favs
A compelling and touching story of one young athlete's struggle to find herself amid a hypocritical community. Fagan takes you with her on her journey in such a way that you feel her pain and her strength all at once. Sadly, she is not the only one to have endured such disappointment and blatant rejection, but she is the one courageous enough to disclose her story. You will laugh and you will cry, and you will become her biggest fan.
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Kate Fagan, former women’s basketball player for the University of Colorado, tells her story in “The Reappearing Act.” As she grew up she didn’t think she was gay, assuming feelings she’d had for girls over the years were just excited thoughts for possible friendships. Read the rest of my review on my blog: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.c... ...more
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Kate Fagan is a columnist and feature writer for espnW, and ESPN The Magazine. She is also an in-studio contributor for The Word, a digital video segment that examines hot topics in sports. Previously, Fagan spent three seasons covering the 76ers for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her work was cited in the anthology of Best American Sports Writing 2013, and she has also been featured on Longr ...more

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