1. An NBA player came out. This is a big deal, because no one ever does that in big, straight, professional sports like basketball. This is the biggest deal since Magic Johnson said he had AIDS. So this guy's name is Jason Collins, and he is (maybe?) playing/most recently played for the Washington Wizards. I don't even know if that's State or DC, and frankly, I haven't cared about the NBA since 1997. Which explains why my reaction to the headline went no further than, "Hey! That's great!" I ended up listening to part of an over-wrought discussion of the story on Talk of the Nation, and that seemed pretty weird to me since anything related to sports on NPR is usually relegated to one of those 20-second fun spots on All Things Considered. Anyway, the bulk of the discussion seemed to revolve around the question, "What will this do to Locker Room Dynamics?!"
So I have a vague memory of one of the girls on my high school volleyball team being fairly open about being into girls. In the locker room, most of us turned our backs to her while changing—not rudely, just shyly. Then we went on the court and kicked ass.
We were teenage girls.*
This piece in Slate sparked my interest in the story a little more. It basically says that the falsely casual shrug-off that Mr. Collins' announcement garnered from some people is just homophobia from a different angle. It is often paired with some version of "Just don't shove it in my face!" Rush Limbaugh is quoted:
Folks, I grew up in a family where people's sexual orientation preferences, whatever, weren't even discussed. Why does it have to be rammed down our throats, figuratively speaking?That was real cute, the little BJ reference there. Anyway, the article is a good read.
2. The Boy Scouts are going to let openly gay boys become scouts! Oh, but they still think gay scout leaders would molest and/or recruit, so that's a no-go so far. Because 'homosexual' is synonymous with 'pedophile'. And people decide to be gay when someone older than them convinces them.
Big conservative groups are pissed that gay boys will be scouts. See here for some laughably uninformed arguments that can be summed up by saying "We don't actually know anyone who is gay, and we are terrified." They use the phrase "boy-on-boy sexual contact". If there were to be a joint Boy/Girl Scout camping trip, would they be as vocal about the potential for boy-on-girl sexual contact?
Even my crazy fundamentalist 17-year-old self would be scratching her head over the concern of scouts' sexual orientation. Awkward camping trips? Whatever. See my above teenage thoughts on locker room/cabin dynamics.
As for the pedophile/recruitment thing. . . I know someone—usually a real nice guy—that claims he had a friend 30 years ago who proclaimed something to the effect of "Everyone should watch their sons. We want them since we can't procreate." As though there's a threat of extinction or something. I would appreciate any insight into that dumb-founding statement.
(Aside: This same friend always mentions NAMbLA in our conversations. This is an organization that seeks to do away with statutory rape laws, which assume that below a certain age, one cannot give informed consent to sex. NAMbLA disagrees with that and thinks a 13-year-old boy is just as capable of making that decision as an 18-year-old one. They do make it clear that molestation—sexual activity without consent—is wrong, wrong, wrong, and I haven't read enough to find out if they do name a more agreeable age of consent. But as icky as I find the phrase "man-boy love" to be, I don't think it's relevant to the conversation since age-of-consent laws have nothing to do with orientation, it just so happens these particular gay men want the law changed.)
3. On a good note, Same Love has been in the top 40 for many many weeks in more than one country. Neat, huh?
* I realize this brings up a couple questions:
Q. Would you feel as comfortable changing in a co-ed locker room? A. Nope.
Q. Isn't it a bigger deal for men because they are "visual" creatures? A. It's mostly men that claim women aren't.