Coming Out

Folks, I have an announcement to make. I have thought this through long and hard. I’ve never talked about this to anybody over the years, all throughout my life. I think the time has come to reveal my secret to the world.

 

I am heterosexual.

Now, I fully expect the media to come around and hold extensive interviews with me. This is big news, after all. This defines me as a human being. This is what matters when it comes to who I am and what contributions I can have to society. So I will sit here patiently and await the presumably short time it takes for the press to read this and come calling.

Anybody?

*crickets*

Okay, well, maybe not. I guess nobody cares about my sexual preference. Despite my previous act, I’m not surprised that this gets no attention for a two very good reasons. a) It really is nobody’s business besides my own and b) I’m a nobody, an unknown schmuck who has very little exposure or celebrity at this point.

Now, in case you haven’t heard, Jason Collins is gay. Who is Jason Collins, you ask? Don’t worry, I didn’t know either until recently. He is, apparently, a fairly mediocre basketball player. Probably would have barely registered in most search engines and on sports news broadcasts. But now everything is Jason Collins. All because he told us he’s attracted to men.

I greeted the news of Jason Collins’ coming out party with a particularly hearty yawn. Didn’t care, still don’t. The news folks are gushing all over it. Historic, it seems. The first openly-gay active player in major professional sports and all that. What an accomplishment! So brave in this day and age to tell the world who you like to have sex with. Thank God we’ve progressed so far as to be fascinated by people’s sex lives! Why, the President even called him to congratulate him. The first black president called the first openly-gay basketball player. Whoopee!

Maybe I’m missing something, but how exactly does this relate to his basketball career? What difference does his sexual life have to do with anything that is any of our business? Do people think that his sub-par performances in games should be ignored in favor of elevating him for his sexuality? I hope not, but it sounds like that’s the case.

I suppose I’m just baffled by this because I’ve never understood the bigoted mentality. I’ve never understood the thought process that places different worth on human beings based on sexuality, skin color, religion, gender, etc. I’ve always been taught to love my neighbor, not to favor one group of people over another, and that all people are created equal. As such, I wish Jason Collins and anybody else would keep their sexual lives to themselves. It’s none of my business, and they have no business shoving it in my face, either. I wouldn’t call to congratulate him any more than I would call to chastize him. It’s neither good nor bad – it just is. So freaking what?

I see so much of it. Someone “comes out” on a late-night talk show. Gossip magazines have articles about whether certain celebrities are gay or not. Co-workers come up to me saying, “Do you know so-and-so is gay?” To all of which I say, “Who cares?” I don’t care. Newspeople, stop encouraging this. The more we place emphasis on something irrelevant, such as a basketball player’s sexuality, the more we feed the flames of bigotry. Placing emphasis on sexual preference is the opposite of what an unbigoted society should be doing. Jason Collins as a basketball player should be judged solely on his on-court actions and abilities. Jason Collins as a human being should be judged equal to any other human being on the planet. Jason Collins as a lover should be judged by his partner, and none of us. I wouldn’t be surprised if this announcement gets Collins some endorsement deals and perhaps even more play time than his basketball performance merits. All because he’s attracted to men.

This transcends even homosexuality. No human being should be defined by sexual preference, race, gender, etc. Genetic differences do not equal differences in worth. Until we stop treating these unimportant things as important, we will never attain a truly unbigoted society. The media should be concerned with two things only regarding Jason Collins: his basketball performance, and the fact that he is a human being. Anything else is and should remain irrelevant.

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