Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ARE YOU GAY?


What if Manti Te'o had answered yes to Katie Couric's question about his sexuality?
What difference would have it made in your life in the former Notre Dame linebacker
was, indeed, gay? If must've made a difference to some people because if you Google
"Katie Couric asking Manti Te'o if he's gay," more than 1.7 million pages will appear
with 10 times that number in comments weighing in on the subject.

Couric asked the question because somebody gave life to a story that Te'o made this
entire bizarre hoax up to cover-up his sexual orientation. That earned a place right next
to the story about Richard Gere and whole gerbil in the hospital thing.

The Te'o "cover" thing is laughable to anybody with an ounce of common sense,
but  unfortunately, we live in a country where a good number of people believe
everything they hear and read. We are a society that loves to gossip and run with
stories that could make other people look bad. Must be some thing about it that
makes them feel better about themselves.


As a 48-year old male whose never been married and doesn't have any children,
people have asked me or wondered if I'm gay. They know nothing about me,
my life, and the relationships I've had. But they see a guy at my age whose never
been married and ask the question, "Are you gay?" That's both laughable and sad.
There are people out there reading this article who will think that I'm writing this
article as my "cover" story. That's just another example of the ignorance that exists
in this country.

If Te'o said yes to Couric's question, I'm sure there would be people out there
who would've screamed, "I knew it!"  Others would've said, "He just looked the
part". Sure. As if there is a certain "look" to outting a gay. Up until January, Te'o
was a hard-hitting, ferocious linebacker, but now, he just "looks" gay. That's
our society in a nutshell.

Last May, CNN anchor Don Lemon announced to the world he's gay. Has that
changed your life or your opinion of him? I highly doubt it. Has it affected his
performance? Probably not.

Did it bother you when Ellen DeGeneres appeared on the cover of Time magazine
years ago with the caption, "Yep, I'm Gay." Did it change your opinion of her? When
I see her on television, I see a talented, caring, and ridiculous funny person. That's all
I see. I could care less if she's gay.

Unfortunately, Te'o wants to be in a profession where a person's sexuality does,
indeed, matter. Unlike television or other professions, there has never been an
openly gay player in the NFL. Not one. That's not because there aren't any.

The average career of an  NFL player is three years and most don't want their
sexuality to affect their job status or ability to land a big contract, not to mention
the abuse they'd receive from the fans. Several players have come out after their
careers are over.

Last June, Wade Davis, who played in the NFL for parts of four seasons, came
out of the closet and told the world he was gay. He admitted that he didn't reveal
his orientation when he played for fear that he would be lose his job and be ostracized
by the league.

Kwame Harris, played six years in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers and
Oakland Raiders. He was arrested recently after he got into a fight with his
ex-boyfriend over soy sauce and underwear. I'm sure he didn't change his sexual
orientation just because his NFL career ended.

I'm sure there are players who are closet homosexuals in the NFL now, but they
don't feel it's worth the risk of losing their jobs and significant salary to come out.
You can't blame them and you can't really blame Te'o for saying he's, "far from
it."

But you can blame yourself for caring about someone else's sexual orientation. It
doesn't matter, it really doesn't.

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