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I like my music loud, I like my alcohol hard, I like my women hot, I like my food spicy, and I like my sex nasty.
Does that make me a bad guy?
Contrary to what some people would have you believe, I'm not some media creation whose goal in life is to cash in on your perceptions of my weirdness. I'm not a confused, abused puppy either. It took me thirty-two years to find out who I really am, and now that I've done that and I'm no longer living a life of bullshit, I want to have some fun. For so long, I was scared to do the things that drifted through the back of my mind. I wanted to take chances and explore the different sides of my personality. I was curious about sex and drinking and breaking rules and living recklessly. But I was too afraid that others wouldn't approve of me and I'd be an outcast, so I kept my fantasies under wraps and tried to blend in.
Now I'm finally being me, and it feels so natural and exhilarating. I'm not pretending to be anything that I'm not. Some of the things I do may not be for you, but to me this is the best way to live my life at this time. I really don't even think of myself as famous. I'm just an average person who likes to have a great time, all the time. I actually forget that I'm Dennis Rodman, and I like that. Honestly, you can take away the money, the cameras and the people kissing my ass, and I'd still be trying to live the same basic life.
My lifestyle is essential to my happiness. As my popularity has exploded over the past couple of years, many people have wondered if my freaky behavior is just an act. They think I'm just a marketing genius who has figured out how to shock the public and is laughing allthe way to the bank.
The question everyone wants to know is this: Is Dennis Rodman just a master of manipulation, or is he really like that?
Fuck yes, I'm really like that.
That may not be what some people want to hear, because it forces them to deal with the truth. I'm not just some tripped-out Barbie doll that can be reduced to a series of clichÚs. I like dressing up in women's clothes because it makes me feel good and brings out my feminine side, not because it sells books. I like going to gay bars and hanging out with queers, transvestites, and transsexuals because I find them a hell of a lot more interesting than the boring-ass dudes I see in locker rooms and on basketball courts. I like dyeing my hair and posing naked and showing off my tattoos because it's a way of expressing my freedom and individuality. I live my life with abandon and I live it openly, because I'm not afraid to let people see who I am.
Don't get me wrong--the money is nice, and I don't mind the attention. I'm definitely somewhat of an exhibitionist, and it gets me off when I know my behavior is forcing people to open their minds. I like the fact that I'm making people deal with issues, like homosexuality in sport and in society, that they'd rather flush down the toilet. I'm in a better position to deal with the wrath of society than most people, and I'm happy to handle the pain. If I'm the one getting stared at and ragged on and joked about, that's all well and good, because I can take it. Nobody--not a referee, not a media dickhead like Bob Costas, not some drunk asshole in a bar--can make me feel as shitty as I've felt in the past. I've seen it all, bro. When you've been poor, homeless, sexually abused, and victimized by racism, it's hard to feel threatened by public ridicule and disapproval.
There are a lot of gay athletes in the world who are too scared to come out of the closet. There are a lot of athletes that totally want to be wild and crazy, but they just feel that they can't, because society and the sports world won't let them. If I can help to change all that, to pave the way for people in all walks of life to be more true to themselves and accepting of others, then that's a pretty cool thing.
But the real reason I walk on the wild side is for myself. I have a lot of different sides to my personality, and I'm very thoughtful and intelligent. Still, this is what it all comes down to: Life, to me, is like one of those funky-looking crawfish you find down in New Orleans. The best thing to do is boil it in the spiciest broth imaginable. Then you take that sucker, rip its head off and suck the juice right out of it.
If you think it's all about money, you're missing the point. I've been poor as soot in my life and still managed to have fun. I've blown through cash like it was Kleenex and had a hell of a good time doing it. I was pretty much broke before I hired Dwight and got traded to the Bulls in 1995. Then things picked up again. I'm trying to stockpile cash now so I can take care of my daughter, Alexis. But I have my limits. In a lot of ways, I'd be happier making about $2,000 a week than the millions I'm making now.
I never thought any of this shit would make me money. I thought it would be totally the opposite--I thought it would cost me whatever money I had, one way or another. I can't even imagine doing what I'm doing to make money. Most people don't expect athletes to do crazy, whacked-out things. That's probably why other athletes don't do them--at least publicly--because they're scared it would cost them money. I'm not driven by cash. It's like saying John Holmes was driven by acting. The man had a 14-inch penis; he was doing what he needed to do in those porno films, just like I am when the camera is watching.
Another myth is that I'm obsessed with what everyone else thinks of me. There's a part of me that cares, but all I really notice is whether people are thinking about me at all, not what they think. I think it's cool when people talk bad about me. There's an old saying, "The only bad publicity is an obituary." I like that. I don't trip out on other people's negativity. When you see things from my perspective, you can't.
I don't sit around calculating my next move, trying to figure out the best way to shock the public or make headlines. How boring does that sound? No, I'm too busy livin'--L-I-V-I-N--as they said in the movie Dazed and Confused. I just close my eyes, breathe slowly and deeply and let the music that beats inside me tell me where to go.