Friday, May 16, 2014

That's it?

The other day, I posted this status on Facebook...

"To the people who are all upset about having The Gay Agenda "rammed down (their) throat", first of all, let me compliment you on your absolutely top notch choice of idioms. Secondly, I spent all weekend watching sports and I haven't seen the video of Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend. Not one time. If you've seen it several times, over and over, and it bothers you, maybe that's your punishment for being a person who actually watched all seven rounds of the NFL draft."

I felt I had to say something because, well, it's not every day I get to take a shot at homophobes AND the NFL Draft. You simply can't pass up opportunities like that.
People are pretty worked up about it though, and they're making comments like this (all posted to local sports radio station 620 WDAE's Facebook page):

"It always make me wonder if we are to accept the gay thing, why does it seem like that have to shove it down our throats?"
"Keep that garbage behind closed doors that's pathetic"
"Too much for TV"
"vomiting in my mouth can't type..."
"Just that most us dont like GAY P.D.A...dont care about his personal crap..lets see if he can play."
"No 7th rounder had ever been showed on tv when they were drafted and neither should he have been. Them kissing was sick"
"Sorry nothin against Gay people but it's not right to see a football player kiss another man in the mouth"

I think in the case of some of these people, it's less about homophobia than it is about maintaining the traditional stereotype of football players as warriors. I've always thought equating sports with war and players with soldiers is stupid, simply because they're not even close to the same things. Folks do love that outdated, false convention, though. You gotta know that on some level, they're as annoyed by the dreadlocks worn by so many African American players as they are by the existence of Michael Sam.

"This is what football players are supposed to look like, goddamnit! Also, gas should be .36 a gallon."
Anyway, the other day, since making the comment on Facebook, I saw The Kiss. Somebody felt obligated to make me watch it so they showed it to me on their phone. All I can say is...that's it? That's what has people so upset? Honestly, based on the level of outrage, I would have guessed that they had stripped down to leather harnesses, oiled each other up and went to town on each other on top of a Little Tikes playhouse filled with grandmothers. But that? That's nothing! As someone who was also witnessing it for the first time said, "I kiss my dad like that." Seriously, I've seen more over-the-top public displays of affection on "The Price is Right".
The irony is that many of the people upset by this are also the ones who bemoan how everyone in America has allowed political correctness to make them too overly sensitive.
Just yesterday, a co-worker was moaning about a reality show about Sam that is being developed for the Oprah Winfrey Network.
"And that bothers you why? Because it will pre-empt other programming that you enjoy so much on that channel?"
"No. I don't watch the Oprah Winfrey Network!"
"So what's the problem?"
"It's just too much, that's all."

I don't know. Maybe it is. Gay people who are looking for opportunities just to be included in more aspects of day-to-day life in America might say it's not close to enough. Again, I really don't know. Michael Sam is a seventh round draft choice who may not even make the team. Even if he does, statistics indicate the average length of a "career" in the NFL is just over three years. What I'm pretty sure will happen is years from now, when Michael Sam and his career are distant memories, some kid who drew inspiration from his example will feel free to be himself and live his life. He'll be drafted in the first round and lead a team to a Super Bowl victory. Then everybody will be okay with it.

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