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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:09 am 
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The title pretty much says it all. Why is it such a big deal that this basketball player is coming out? Ok I get the first active professional sports thing, but come on, in this day and age is it really that big of a deal any more with so many people in the public arena having come out?

It just seems like a 'meh' thing that too many people are making a big deal about, am I missing something else?

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:26 am 
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I think it's 2 effects.

1) Some people have a (to me completly unexplainable) interest in every aspect of the private life of celebrities. Sexual orientation is just one item there.
2) Given there is still a cultural war about how to regard homosexuality going on, by coming out you implicitly declare yourself to be part of one camp.

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:55 am 
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This is exactly why I was raging earlier. Some people were talking about it by my desk and it was getting near impossible to tune them out.

Their argument is that you've been walking around a bunch of other guys who have no idea about your sexual orientation in the locker room, in the showers, and having a lot of close, personal contact that they are now going to be second guessing your reactions to. They are now going to assume you will react with them as they would around a woman.

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:55 pm 
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For something like the entertainment industry which has had gays living openly for a good while coming out has become meh. It is a big deal for pro sports which have long been viewed as a staple symbol of masculinity. For a player to come out flies in the face of the macho belief that being gay makes you an effemenate sissy. The fact that some players came out after retiring meant that other players never had to deal with them while knowing. Jason Collins is currently a free agent but if another team signs him any team mates with negative beliefs about gays will have to learn to at least coexist with if not accept him. The league will also have to police the situation to make sure no retaliation goes on especially on the court in front of the public.

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:51 pm 
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I think "meh" is a pretty good reaction to have, and I hope it becomes increasingly common. I think the media just wants stuff to chew, mostly.

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:20 pm 
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Slow news day.

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:43 pm 
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I think giggles and s.i.l. have it right.

After 20 years of people in the entertainment industry, fashion industry, news production and government officials coming out, it's kind of a big deal that we've heard mum from our other enormous industry (sports) with people in the public eye. And we've heard mum because sports are still seen as a standard of masculinity and being gay is still seen as very feminine among some circles. Not to mention the locker room gay panic bull$(*+.

Saying meh may be the preferred response, but breaking that barrier is really kind of a big deal. And if the big sports guys who are gay come out, the idea that being gay is a normal thing across all social and cultural grounds will continue to grow. The more normal it is, the more, say, bullying for being gay will be less acceptable. Or, say, schools banning students from attending prom with same-sex partners. Or, say, firing a teacher who is found out to be gay. Or not serving customers because they appear to be gay. These are things that still happen every day to people across the US.

I think of it in the sense of the biosphere: If we have an environment that can support a healthy population of grey wolves, then that same environment is probably healthy enough to support all kinds of tiny creatures that don't get put on posters. It works from the bottom up - the environment needs to be healthy enough for the small creatures first before it can be healthy for the wolves. And then there's a kickback downward, wherein environmentalists love the wolves and support the wolves so continue to foster the healthy environment.

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:08 pm 
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My first reaction to the news was 'Who?'

Then looking at his career stats my first thought was this was a ploy to get in the record books, because let's face it, even though he has been on some play off teams he has not really been a stand out athlete. However, if he is the first openly gay active player, that makes him a shoe in. (yes I am cynical and think people always have an angle so I acknowledge that bias in my conclusion.)

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Mostly people are just scared. It's a change in the status quo, paradigm shift. People don't like change unless they're expecting it. Yes, he's going to be everywhere and he's going to profit from the decision to come out. However, most people seem to forget that it takes a lot of courage to be openly gay in our society. It's sad and I hate it, but it's true. Luckily, the change is coming and soon.

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:25 pm 
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Jorodryn wrote:
My first reaction to the news was 'Who?'

Then looking at his career stats my first thought was this was a ploy to get in the record books, because let's face it, even though he has been on some play off teams he has not really been a stand out athlete. However, if he is the first openly gay active player, that makes him a shoe in. (yes I am cynical and think people always have an angle so I acknowledge that bias in my conclusion.)


Jorodryn, if his being gay can HELP his career more than it can hinder it, that is an ENORMOUS shift in our culture.

I am perfectly fine with this acknowledgement and support him in twisting things in his favor with his sexuality, if that's the case. It means we've changed significantly. And in another ten years, it really will be "meh," and no one can use their sexuality to give their career some oomph.

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:10 pm 
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Let's not forget we still live in a society where young homosexuals commit suicide rather than face the pressure of coming out. When role models come out it helps our youth feel less alone.

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 Post Posted: Wed May 01, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Wait, this guy was the first major sports team player out of the closet?

...

Okay, that's a big deal after all. I'd just assumed we were already there.

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 Post Posted: Wed May 01, 2013 4:03 pm 
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drachefly wrote:
Wait, this guy was the first major sports team player out of the closet?

...

Okay, that's a big deal after all. I'd just assumed we were already there.

The first one out while still playing. Plenty have come out after retiring from professional play, but no one has come out until now while still actively playing.

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 Post Posted: Wed May 01, 2013 10:40 pm 
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Heck I am more surprised when I find out that someone famous I assume is gay is actually hetero

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 Post Posted: Wed May 01, 2013 11:01 pm 
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You assume famous people are gay? People who you have no personal interaction with? Clearly on some level their sexuality is a 'deal' for you or else you wouldn't care one way or the other and have made no such assumptions.

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