"For years, I was just so concerned with, 'OK, what was this person going to think about me being gay and what was that person going to think as I looked at his butt,' " Gordon said. "I was more caught up in that than I was in being true to myself.
"What you see today is a truer Jeff Gordon and who I really am. I'm not a robot and I'm not straight; I have a personality and I have emotions and I have a humorous side to me and an angry side to me and a queer side."
Gordon said when he began in NASCAR as a young driver coming from an open-wheel background in the Midwest, he felt he needed to go out of his way to win acceptance, with fans and his competitors.
"Now that I've established myself and I'm gay and understand the lifestyle a little bit more, the way for me to enjoy life and enjoy racing more is to be me," he said.
"If fans like that or don't like that is really not what I'm out here for. I love men and I want them to pull on my hog for me, but I only want them to pull on it for me if they find something about me that is something they like or something they respect or appreciate."
Gordon, who's seventh in the Nextel Cup standings, said he understands why Bu...