Monday, February 10, 2014

why does this matter?

Let me open by saying this: I am not gay.

I don’t type that, to criticize people who are.  I type it, to distinguish myself from those who are.  Because the challenges that our gay friends, family members, and loved ones have faced in our lifetimes is outrageous, indefensible, and inexcusable.

I thankfully have, for the most part, a very tolerant, open, accommodating group of core friends.  “Joe Knows” thought nothing of introducing us (at the time) to his boyfriend (now husband) Robert at the donkeys Thanksgiving Night victory eight years ago.  He knew we didn’t give a sh*t about who he loves, only that he has someone to love.  I have family members that are gay, as I'm sure many of you reading this do.  

I have a very good friend who is like family, that I love like a brother, who is gay.  Hell, one of my best friends in college was gay, and she and I remain good friends to this day.

Which is why yesterday’s news that Michael Sam, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, felt he had to “announce” to the world that he is amongst the (best guesstimate) ten percent of the population that is gay, offends the hell out of me.

How outrageous …

 … that he felt the need, to have to explain and defend, who God made him to be.

I’m curious – and I ask this as a hot as hell itself 37 year old single white dude that may or may not have had a night of pleasure (gulp) thirteen years ago involving a (female) stripper, a (female) crippled chick, and a (female) with a mustache.  (My finest hour!) 

If this blog ever makes me famous (and God help us all if it ever does), should I schedule a sit-down with the New York Times to reveal to the nation, that I’m white? 

Should I schedule a sit-down with ESPN, to reveal that I am not a devoutly religious person, even if I was raised in the Church?  (Note: I have my issues with them, not the least of which … hang on.  (peter griffin voice) Really?  I have to say it?  (Sighs in disgust).  Fine.  “Pedophile Priests!”)

Should I schedule a roving interview with the Los Angeles Times to reveal I’m 5 feet 11 inches tall, weigh approximately 165 pounds, have blue eyes, and my hair is a blond / brownish combo with (double gulp) shades of grey starting to appear?

Should I work with Bleacher Report, to set up a 12 slides presentation, about the teams and golfers and drivers I root for?  (Those 12, for the record: Chiefs, Jets, Royals, Knicks, Bucks, Stars, Jayhawks, Orange, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Kasey Kahne, and (big gulp) Marco Andretti.)

Should I ask my team of editors, fellow bloggers, and whatever assorted techies do the behind the scenes thingies to make blogs work, should I ask them to keep silent about the fact that I’m straight?  

Should I give an exclusive to Stevo’s Site Numero Dos’ Official Favorite Political Columnist, Ron Fournier, that I am a PUMA Democrat still bitterly clinging to the fact that Hillary Clinton got more votes in the 2008 Democrat nomination process than the President did, but the party that allegedly believes in “count every vote” refused to let the person with the most votes, get the damned nomination?

Should I poke a stick at Tom Lawrence, at whatever bridge he’s living under nowadays, to give him an exclusive look into my crippling dependency on my “spiritual advisor”, the Reverend Al K. Hall?

Should I recruit someone I went to school with that works off and on for FOX 4 (that would be Mikita Burton), should I recruit her to interview me about how I organize my closet (note: I don’t), or what my fashion sense is?  (Note: think 1996 – khakis and flannel, baby!)

Should I give an hour to Jenee Osterhous at the Star, to describe how I lived my college years – almost all of them – with two people of minority status in this country, a Hispanic from El Paso and an Indian from India?  (Well fine, Vineet was born here, but his parents weren’t.)  Should I give her an inside look into how that shaped my world view, that if you want to be in this country, we should welcome you with open arms, because 99.24% of the people coming here, make this country a better place to be?

And should I request an opportunity to sit down and discuss, via the Playboy Interview of the Month, the fact that I love sex, and I’m straight?

This is why Michael Sam’s revelation so infuriates me. 

It’s who he is

He’s chosen to be gay, no more than I’ve chosen to be straight.

And no more than Michael Sam, chose to be black.

Or, pardon me.  (my uncle bill voice, and folks, he really does think he’s being politically correct with this phrase, God love the man)  “Afro-American”.

No more than Michael Sam chose his parents.  Chose his eye color.  Chose his character, his integrity, his courage.

He is who God made him. 

Courage.  I know it’s a one word phrase Dan Rather gets mocked for from time to time (and probably deservedly so), but good grief.

We live in a country in which simply being who you are, and admitting it, is considered “courageous”.

Shame on those of us, who will never endure racism, discrimination, intolerance, and outright hatred, for simply being who God made us to be.

And shame on anyone, who doesn’t feel that way.

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