Jason Collins Came Out So One Day It Won’t Matter


Yesterday was a remarkable day.  A current pro athlete came out of the closet and if you are on places like Facebook and/or Twitter both the support, the ugliness and the stupidity were remarkable to see.

Now just so everything is out there, I am a complete supporter of gay rights including gay marriage.  And truth be told, I don’t really care to hear debate on the topic.  These are human beings who simply want to be love each other without fear, who simply want the rights the rest of us take for granted.  So whatever justification anyone uses to say they shouldn’t get their rights, just could not matter less to me.

So after a day of reading all kinds of tweets, I responded to a Utah Football Recruit, Andre Lewis, over an argument I find most troubling.  Someone retweeted Mr. Lewis into my timeline saying he doesn’t get why Jason Collins should come out, he should just shut up and play basketball and not talk about his “in home” situation.

Two things came out of this.

One I shouldn’t have responded to a 20 year old kid trying to argue the nuances of this situation.  I was 20 once as well and the argument went where it probably would have gone with a 20 year old me.  So that part is my fault.

But I should have chosen to address one of the other 100 adults making the same argument in my timeline.  Because the fact is, you comment publicly on your heterosexuality a 1000 times every day.  One person who joined this fray on Andre’s side, had a photo of him and his wife as his Twitter avatar.  Don’t you think there are 1000’s of gay people who would love to make their partner/spouse their avatar without fear and hate?

Every time you wear your wedding ring, hold hands with your wife in public and a 1000 other things you don’t think about, you advertise that you’re heterosexual.  Gay men and women, even those who are out hesitate to act the same way out of fear, from just some asshole yelling at them to violence.

Jason Collins came out so that one day, we’ll see two men or two women holding hands and it won’t even register as a big deal.

Jason Collins came out so that one day the quarterback who won the Super Bowl can kiss his husband and all anyone will see joy.

Jason Collins came out so that one day, it won’t matter.

Read Jason Collins Essay from Sports Illustrated here.