Last night, I got “virtually” smacked in the face by one of my loyal Twitter followers. He’s also a gay conservative, but he was much more excited by the “coming out” of Jason Collins than I was.
My Tweep asked, in no uncertain terms, why was I so negative when “good things” happened to gay people. I was taken aback at first and thought about it a bit.
I responded that maybe it is an “age thing.” You see, I’m old enough to know black people who weren’t allowed to eat in the same places I did. And if they tried, they’d see the hurtful end of a water hose and German Shepard.
I just can’t get excited about Collins’ news. Big deal. He had nothing on the line. His “coming out” benefits no one but himself. If a ton of endorsements were in jeopardy, or if his spot on a team were in doubt and he came out anyway … well, then that would be impressive.
Let’s be honest: Collins is an uber-wealthy and talented super athlete in our celebrity-obsessed society. I doubt he has much to worry about outside of his bubble. So I’m sorry if I can’t get worked up about this.
But my friends’ words haunted me all day. Was I always rejecting gay heroes? Perhaps the problem is who the gay community chooses to hold up for praise: Barney Frank, Dan Savage, Rosie O’Donnell. These people aren’t heroic, they are attractive meme-advancers. All three are quite mean human beings, I might add.
Are there no gay heroes that I can be proud of? Yes, there is one that immediately comes to mind.
One man sat in the back of an airplane and risked his life so that hundreds or thousands more might live. No one knew he was gay until he had helped bring down Flight 93 over Pennsylvania.
Today, most young people think Lady Gaga is an important gay icon and political influencer, yet hardly any have ever heard of Mark Bingham.
I don’t begrudge Jason Collins; I loathe our news media for making the important irrelevant and the ridiculous praiseworthy.