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"I was like the guinea pig of the family" — Dennis Rodman on growing up wearing dresses and his thoughts on drag queens

Dennis Rodman's basketball genius was what catapulted him to fame. But it was his unblinking eye for human emotion that made him one of the coolest players in NBA history.
Dennis Rodman revealed he once had identity crisis

Dennis Rodman

During his heyday, Dennis Rodman didn’t just wear the Chicago Bulls jersey and played basketball. The man also wore dresses and went to parties. It caused a media frenzy. But to The Worm, it was normal for him to wear dresses, given how he grew up.

Wearing dresses

Rodman shared that there was no male figure in his family growing up. And so he spent time around his sisters, which meant he had to play along to their fancies. Among many things, this included putting on makeup and trying out dresses.

I didn’t have no brothers,” Rodman said. “No father. I hung out with my sisters all the time, and they was just trying to make me dress up. So I was like the guinea pig of the family,” Rodman said, per GQ.

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Later, as an adult, the five-time NBA Champion started wearing dresses not necessarily to feel like a woman, catch everyone’s attention, or provoke. Rather, it reminded him of his childhood — a memory that made him happy.

We all had fun at the time, but that didn’t inspire me when I got older. I guess it kind of made me have a sense of awareness of, like, 'Man, I used to dress like this as a kid.' Wearing a dress made me feel good. You know?” Rodman said.

Drag queens

While wearing dresses reminds Rodman of his childhood, it has also opened his eyes to the wonderful world of drag shows. While most people know of Rodman’s keen eye for the basketball — when and where exactly it’s going to bounce off after a missed shot — the man also has an unblinking eye for human emotion. He knows when a human is completely happy and comfortable in his own skin.

When you talk to people in the gay community, someone who does drag, something like that, they’re so fuc**ng happy,” says Dennis. “They hold their head up so high every fuc**ng day, man. They’re not ashamed of sh*t. They’re not trying to prove anything, they’re just out there living their lives,” Rodman said.

Non-Detroit Pistons or Chicago Bulls fans probably hated Rodman’s guts during his playing days. He was an absolute menace on the court because he snagged every rebound and won the mental game. He may act and speak differently from the rest of us, but behind this seemingly indifferent facade is a lovely human being. 

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