It's not that it doesn't matter to me, or that I'm not totally in favor of everyone embracing their own truth and being who they really are. In fact, I wish that every gay person, regardless of their own life-situation, would just go ahead and get it over with and come out, and then deal with whatever consequences there may be because of it. I think the world would then be a better place, and we as a society could move on to dealing with other things.
Personally, I know that I certainly have no regrets about my own journey to complete authenticity, even though my coming out definitely cost me a lot. The truth makes you free...it doesn't always make life easier for you, but it does make you free, and the freedom that it brings to your life is definitely worth whatever challenges and/or discomfort that it might create for it.
I applaud Michael Sam for being proactive in doing what he just did, especially when he did it, but I just don't, as a rule, say anything these days about such occurrences because I don't want to get corralled into having the same tired, old conversations (about society, morality, family values, biblical interpretation concerning homosexuality, etc.) that inevitably come up when these things happen.
Been there. Done that.
But I do want to make an exception and address this one issue that always seems to arise when a gay person (especially a gay man) comes out, who is either in the military or in professional sports, and that's the issue of the locker room.
I remember when all the public hoopla was going on about the possible and potential repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell", that there was a particular General who was quoted as saying some nonsense to this effect: "Gays should not be allowed in the military because when a man is fighting in a foxhole, he shouldn't have to worry that he is going to be sexually assaulted by another man."
Of course, not long after that the law was repealed anyway, and there has never been any such incident ever reported, but here are some of the things that I would like to have been able to say to that ignorant, homophobic General, just the same:
1. Anyone who is trying to have sex with someone else during active battle in a foxhole has bigger problems than just dealing with DADT!
2. Sexual harassment in the workplace is both immoral and illegal, and should never be tolerated from anyone, regardless of the perpetrator's orientation!
3. Don't stupidly assume that every gay person wants to have sex with everyone of the same gender that they meet, or that they are unable to perform their duties in a professional, responsible manner under any circumstances!
4. Any man who has been trained to be a killing machine, but can't effectively ward off any unwanted sexual advances from another man has no business being on the front lines of battle!
I didn't read a lot today about Michael Sam's coming out, but the 2 or 3 articles about it that I did peruse each said something about the other players possibly being uncomfortable changing clothes in front of, and showering with an openly gay man, and that's what I want to talk about because I'm so tired of this silly notion being expressed.
I mean, really? In 2014 there are people who still think that having sex is all that gay people are about? Do they actually believe that men with SSA are so threatening to heterosexual males that they can't even be trusted with them in a locker room? Do they honestly not know that if they've spent any time in any sports clubhouse or gym changing room or college dorm or military barracks at any time in their lives that they've already been undressing in front of and showering with gay men for years?!
And this whole business of some straight men thinking that they are so physically irresistible that every gay man wants them, or that no gay man is capable of just doing his job without being sexually compelled to be on the prowl just because he sees another man take his pants off is archaic thinking, and is both ridiculous and insulting.
I know an openly (young, handsome) gay man who is in the navy, and spends a good bit of time on submarines in very close quarters with other men. I asked him once if his orientation is ever a problem to him or to any of the other men on his ship, and he said, "Are you kidding me? We're too busy just doing our jobs for any of us to think about anything else! Work is work, and then everyone crashes. Period!"
Michael Sam is a good ball player, and has no doubt already spent a considerable amount of time with other men in the locker room. Somehow he has been able to control himself before he came out, and I feel confident that he will be able to control himself now, so settle down, guys. As I understand it, his own team is actually cool with him and with his orientation (which is awesome), but this subject keeps coming up, and it is totally bogus.
And to every straight man who is so afraid that some gay man might actually look at him, I want to say, "Hey, buddy...relax...we already saw you getting out of the shower, and don't worry...we're good...you're quite safe...play ball!"