Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Has Coming Out As Gay Now Clouded Our Sensibilities? Gay Is Now The New Black

"So Jason Collins is a hero because he's gay? Our standard for heroism has dropped quite a bit since Normandy." Tweet by Ben Shapiro

  • Let me be clear before I write this knowing the "tolerant" ones in our society might well consider me homophobic. I have a family member who is gay. My closest and dearest friends have gay children. I grew up on the border of The Village in NYC. I have absolutely no problem with someone's sexuality. However, I do have a problem when many consider proclaiming one's sexuality is being "heroic." The airwaves in the last 24 hours have been filled with descriptions of Jason Collins as someone who just exhibited some type of remarkable bravery (I don't doubt for a moment that Collins is a man of genuine and remarkable character). He's a professional basketball player who happens to be gay. Get over it! I thought we were well passed thinking  declarations about one's sexuality demanded we show some type of reverence. For me, it's similar to the notion of "hate crimes." We bestow that label on victims of crimes who happen to be members of a particular ethnic group or on one's sexuality. I've always been opposed to that because it implies the lives of people in those groups have more value than my life because I happen to be an old white guy.
  • I recall when one of my friends told me one of his children was gay (children I knew since birth). He and his wife took me aside to tell me the "news." My first response was: "By the way, when we eating dinner. I'm hungry." I loved his kid before he announced he was gay. I'm gonna love him after.
  • And this notion of being gay as heroic took on an even stranger turn in my opinion. In USA TODAY, on Collins breaking the "gay barrier" (Oh please), Orin Starn, a professor of cultural anthropology at Duke, actually said this, "You could argue Jason Collins has become the Jackie Robinson of the gay rights movement in sports." No professor Starn, you could argue you are an idiot.
  • In the same piece, NY Mets third baseman said it best in my opinion: "If you can play the game, I don't care the color of your skin, sexual orientation. Come on in welcome." In other words, lets play ball.
  • You want to learn about real heroes? Read about heroes like the Tuskegee Airmen and what they had to live through. And, while you are at it, go to this blog and you'll learn something about genuine, everyday heroes http://dedicatedtoheroes.blogspot.com/