So basketball player Jason Collins is gay. Do I care? Not at all. Does the fact he has admitted to it really warrant a phone call from the President commending him for his courage? I hardly think so. Especially if he doesn't want his homosexual orientation to be a very public part of his persona. Well, it is now.
Frankly, if it were me I'd resent it. I'd resent the idea that someone, especially the President, would try to make political hay out of who I am. I am either gay or I'm not. I can't do anything about it one way or the other. Admitting it would be more cathartic than anything else — like anything I might keep hidden about myself that bothers me. We all harbor such things. To me that doesn't equate with courage.
Maybe we're putting the cart before the horse with all this gay marriage business. If people aren't comfortable with themselves in the first place so that it has to become a political issue, maybe that should be the first thing we work on. All sides. Not just those who are gay but those of us who aren't who are unaccepting of it — usually due to religious beliefs. Or just that it's not the norm in our current society.
Besides, he's not the first openly gay athlete.Tennis great Billy Jean King was the first I was aware of. Then Martina Navratilova. Female athletes pioneered the way. Then there is Greg Louganis, the diver. Does anyone remember the worry when he cracked his head on the diving board? Oh, probably not. That was awhile ago.There have been many in a variety of professional sports.
There has been talk for some time now about some NFL players debating whether or not to come out. What's the problem? Are you ashamed of who you are? For those macho types who don't want them in the locker room guess what. They're already there. Just like Collins. Has anything happened? No.
Frankly, I'm getting tired of the whole issue. Whatever two consenting adults choose to do in private should remain just that. Private. When society can get a grip and go along with that maybe the idea of those two same consenting adults can go ahead and get married won't be so jarring.
As for courage. Get real. Leave that accolade for our military who have been left in the Godforsaken outback of places like Afghanistan, going on patrol day in and day out never knowing if they'll be blown to bits before the day is over. That, my friends, is courage. While we're properly placing words, let's look at hero too. Basketball players are not heroes; they're skilled, highly paid athletes.
Those soldiers? They're the heroes without the pay. The CIA has directed billions to Karzai while the real heroes return home to no job and food stamps. Don't talk to me about courage Mr. President.