Better Duck Asante Samuel – We’re Talking Gay

Asante Samuel - photo courtesy of ESPN

Asante Samuel – photo courtesy of ESPN

In a recent  interview, Atlanta Falcons corner back, Asante Samuel said the following in response to NBA player Jason Collins public announcement that he’s gay:

“Straight people are not announcing they’re straight, so why does everybody have to announce their sexuality or whatever? You know, what they prefer…So that’s just how I see it. That’s my opinion on things. All respect you know, I have nothing but respect for the people whoever decisions they make and whatever, but you know, you don’t have to show it and flaunt it like that. You know what I’m saying, we have kids out here, too.”

That paragraph is so loaded, I could write a book on the blanketed, homophobic garbage it contains, but for sake of time (and sanity) I’ll stick to one aspect:

“Straight people are not announcing they’re strait”.

As a gay man, this baffles me.   In our world, that is ALL that is happening.  Straight people discuss their sexuality continuously.  Walk into any workplace.  Pictures of boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, children and grandchildren adorn every available surface including walls, desks and window sills – all like a flashing beacon saying “I’m straight”.  Know why I notice?  Because  if I had a picture of my husband and I at our wedding, it would be “shoving my sexuality down your throat.”

How about question we each get Monday morning…”How was your weekend?  What did you do?”  A straight person will answer, “The wife and I just hung around the house,” or “My boyfriend was out of town so I went to a movie with a friend”, or “My in-laws were in town… so glad THAT’S over!”  Know what a gay or lesbian who isn’t out gets to say?  ”Nothin’ much” or “Went to a move.”  If we answer, “My partner and I had friends over for dinner”, we’d be ‘flaunting our lifestyle’.

How about  tv?  Watch any weekly show or movie, and you’ll see heterosexual relationships in nearly 100%.  Guess how many shows feature gay characters?  Not many, and many of those feature comic stereotypes…  The snarky, well dressed gay best friend, the husky girls softball coach with a heart of gold.  We are starting to see a few gay families pop up, but so many of them are still caricatures.

And how about commercials?  I’ve heard, “Gays are so focused on sex”.  Have you seen a Go Daddy commercial?  How about one for Axe?  I wonder if the guys in the Budweiser commercial ogling the women in bikinis are straight?

Barney Frank, the outspoken and out former congressman said it best at last night’s Equality Forum:

“Let’s be clear. We don’t talk about our sexuality any more than straight people do. The difference is when we talk about sexuality, it’s called ‘coming out.’ When straight people discuss their sexuality it’s called ‘talking.’”




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