Yesterday all my feeds blew up with the announcement that NBA player Jason Collins is gay. After the third or so post, I was already sick of it. The truth is, I cannot wait until someone's sexual orientation stops being a headline.
Don't get me wrong, I understand the importance of being the first openly gay current professional athlete. The fact that he's also black does not escape my notice. I'm incredibly happy for this man for being so honest when the blow back is going to be, and probably already has been, difficult. I guess the question I have is, why does it matter? It always shocks me when it shocks others that someone is gay. People are gay. Everywhere. In every culture, every profession, every place in the world. So the next question I ask is something I wonder every time a person being gay makes headlines - why, oh why does someone's sex life have anything to do with any other aspect of their life? If I don't have to proclaim myself as straight - an important part of who I sleep with and decide to have a family with - why the hell should my gay friends? It just seems invasive to me.
Why does being gay have to come with an announcement? Why should we force people to proclaim such a private thing? Why can't Jason Collins live his life openly without feeling shame for not telling everyone about it first? We live in a world that feels like it's everyone's business to know everything. We over share and don't understand when someone doesn't do the same. We also live in a world that shames people for who they are if we don't agree with the things they feel, say, or do. It's incredibly frustrating.
Why can't we just accept people for who they are, not worry about what they do in the privacy of their own home, and not be surprised/revolted/angered/cruel when who they are means bringing someone of the same sex to dinner?
I think Salt 'n Pepa said it best: