Picture As I’ve mentioned before, I have a fascination with COMING OUT STORIES.

So I dug in the crates for these series of clips originally featured on the 2008 Logo Network show, “Shirts & Skins” in which young, handsome masculine basketball player Mike Survillion struggles with the prospect of Coming Out to his Mother.

The short lived reality show featured openly Gay basketball players on the San Francisco Rockdogs team. The Rockdogs are one of many teams that make up the San Francisco Gay Basketball Association (SFGBA), a non-profit organization. Over six episodes we see action on the court, learn about the players themselves and even get cameos by inspirational openly Gay athletes such as John Amaechi and Sheryl Swoopes.

On the show, 22-year-old Mike Survillion is shown to be a masculine, charismatic young man with a killer smile. At only 5’8″ tall and 160 lbs, the Chicago native played the point guard position for the Rockdogs.

According to the SFGBA website, Mike’s still an active part of the Rockdogs and SFGBA community to this day (recent “scuffy beard” pics featured below).

What set Mike Survillion (now a 26 year old Middle School Teacher in San Francisco) apart on the show was not only the fact that he was the youngest of the bunch (22 at the time of filming), but he was also the ONLY CLOSETED PLAYER amongst them. Some of his own fears and hesitations about Coming Out echoed my own, so when I heard the advice he received I have to admit that I thought seriously about making some changes in my own life as well.

Watch the 10-minute video below for all the relevant scenes related to Mike’s Coming Out dilemma. (The video embedded below is in Quicktime so you will need to install the latest version on your computer or be on a device that supports this format.)

Mike’s Coming Out Journey


Don’t get me wrong, I realize that a lot of what was shown in the video was probably “staged.” However, the impact is no less great.Key words that struck me:

John Amaechi: “What does a friendship mean if it is with someone who does not ‘know me’. How much is that worth? How heavy is that on the balance scale?”

Sheryl Swoopes: “If I had to do it all over again, I would go back and do it a lot sooner.”

I’m not one to push anyone to come out of the closet, that’s a decision for you to make on your own. At the very least I hope that if you’re on the edge of a decision, our site can help you choose one way or another.

The entire 6-episode “Shirts & Skins” series is available for streaming online at Amazon Instant Video.

– Nick D