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Who Cares That You’re Gay?

18 Feb

Michael Sam is gay. GAY GAY GAY.

Michael Sam is an all American defensive lineman from The University of Missouri and he may just be the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL.

michael sam

Why should we care that he’s gay? We SHOULDN’T CARE whether he’s gay or not, BUT as long as there are men being beaten up because they choose to hold hands with their partner (who is also a man) and *GASP* be openly affectionate  or there are high school students who receive death threats after coming out as being gay, we SHOULD care that a football player has chosen to be open about his sexual orientation. I cannot WAIT for us as a society to be at a place where truly NOBODY CARES, but we’re not there yet.

We have made progress towards being the type of society that doesn’t care. Not long ago gay celebrities and athletes led closeted lives because of the very real threat that coming out as gay would mean the end of their career.   Rock Hudson’s sexual orientation was a rather well-known secret in Hollywood, but he was closeted to the general public largely because it was thought that  moviegoers didn’t want to believe that the 6’5″ dreamboat Hudson could possibly be gay, and they presumably wouldn’t pay to see Hudson in movies where as an actor he was playing the part of a ladies man.

Today, openly gay actor Neil Patrick Harris plays ladies man Barney Stinson on TV’s How I Met Your Mother.  The show is popular which leads me to believe that if anybody has an issue with a gay man playing the part of a ladies man, it’s a small amount of people. Maybe I’m naive, but this is progress to me.

If you’re feeling like celebrities and athletes are “pushing their sexuality in your face” and you truly don’t care whether they are gay or not, then ignore it. Tell yourself that their proclamation is not for you. It’s for children who perhaps feel they would not be supported if they publicly embraced who they are. It’s for people who read the stories I linked above and feel that they are too scared to come out.  There is strength in numbers. If there is one young gay man who plays football who now feels less alone, then it matters. If there is one  young  lesbian woman who now feels the courage to pursue a career in broadcasting because of Robin Roberts, then it matters.

Breaking news – Ellen Page is gay. GAY GAY GAY.

Ellen Page

The Oscar nominated actress came out this past week  in a speech to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.  Why is this important? In her own words, let her explain –

“I’m here today because I am gay, and because maybe I can make a difference to help others have an easier and more hopeful time.”

I started writing this post BEFORE she gave her speech, but we are on the same wavelength. If it doesn’t matter to you, cool. Certainly not every person who is in the public eye has an obligation to be open about their sexuality. We are not owed that by anyone.  Just realize when someone chooses to come out, it isn’t about anyone “pushing an agenda” or “putting their homosexuality in your face”. It is about the hope that someday it really WON’T matter and it will be a non-issue.

J. A. Allen

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