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Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

     
Bean, Billy (b. 1964)  
 
page: 1  2  3  4  

Madani had previously been unfamiliar with baseball, but, wrote Bean, he "soon became our biggest booster." One day Bean took him on a tour of the stadium clubhouse, but surreptitiously, after all the other players had left, for fear that the romantic nature of their relationship might be discovered.

In July 1993 Bean hit his first major-league home run and instead of staying in the clubhouse to celebrate with his teammates, hurried home, where Madani, an excellent cook, had prepared a special meal to honor the occasion.

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Two well-meaning Padres teammates, Brad Ausmus and Trevor Hoffman, did not want Bean's career milestone to go unmarked, and so they turned up on his doorstep bearing six-packs of beer. Bean hastily hid the dinner plates in the kitchen while Madani secreted himself in the garage.

When the friends finally left, Bean rushed to Madani and "apologized profusely," but, he said, "my proudest accomplishment on a baseball diamond had turned into an occasion of sadness and shame."

Two years into their relationship, in late 1994, Madani was diagnosed as HIV-positive and began a treatment regimen of AZT. Bean was tested and found to be uninfected.

At first Madani's medication seemed effective, but on a spring day in 1995 Bean came home to find him sick and with a high fever. Bean rushed him to the emergency room, but in the early hours of the next day, Madani went into cardiac arrest and died.

Upon returning home, Bean called his mother, who came over to comfort him on the loss of his "friend," but since Bean was still not out to her, she could not understand the true depth of his grief.

Unable to reveal to anyone the loss that he had just suffered, Bean dutifully showed up for a Padres media event later that morning and played in an exhibition game that evening, after which his manager informed him that he was being sent down to the triple-A club.

Bean reported to Las Vegas and decided against asking for personal time off to fly to Madani's funeral for fear that "someone might start asking why I cared enough about the guy to attend."

Bean was back with the parent club at the time of the All-Star break in July and spent his days off in Miami, visiting a gay friend who was one of the few people to whom he was out. The friend took him to a restaurant and introduced him to the owner, Efraín Veiga, with whom Bean was immediately smitten.

Veiga and Bean began a long-distance relationship, which would later turn into a life partnership.

After the baseball season Bean flew to Miami for visits with Veiga and decided to stay until the start of spring training.

In the spring of 1996 Bean's agent told him that the Padres were offering him only a minor-league contract, which Bean did not want to accept. He approached the Florida Marlins in hopes of being picked up by the Miami team, but they, too, only offered a position at the triple-A level. Convinced that he still had the ability to make it in the big leagues but emotionally worn out by the stress of remaining closeted, Bean reluctantly quit baseball.

Bean remained in Miami. Struggling to come to terms with his sexual orientation and identity, he lost touch with his friends from baseball and saw little of his family.

Late in the year he went to see his parents. After a tense couple of days he had a conversation with his mother, who had figured out what he was having such trouble telling her. She was supportive but hurt that he had not taken her into his confidence earlier. In retrospect, he wished that he had. When Bean informed his stepfather and siblings of his sexual orientation, they also expressed their affection and acceptance.

Bean returned to Miami, where he did some sports reporting and also became a partner in Veiga's restaurant, Yuca. In 1998 they decided to sell Yuca and open a larger restaurant.

In the summer of 1999 Bean was shocked to receive a fax, forwarded from Yuca, in which his ex-wife sent condolences for the death of his friend and college teammate Layana, who had been killed in a traffic accident. Bean realized that he had become so isolated that none of his old friends had known how to reach him.

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