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Shocking News!

Rarely have I been proud to live in Texas. But I am today. Please watch this video to see why:

Transcript, because I had to:

"And then yesterday, Missouri's All-American defensive end Michael Sam, the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year, and expected to be a third to fifth round pick in the NFL draft tells the world he's gay. The best defensive player in college football's best conference only a third to fifth round NFL pick? Really? That is shocking. And I guess that other thing is too. Michael Sam would be the first openly gay player in the NFL. Says he knows there will be problems and they've already started. Several NFL officials telling Sports Illustrated it will hurt him on draft day because a gay player wouldn't be welcome in an NFL locker room. It would be uncomfortable, because that's a man's world. You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots, you're the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft. You kill people while driving drunk. That guy's welcome. Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes, we know they're welcome. Players accused or rape and pay the woman to go away. You lie to police trying to cover up a murder, we're comfortable with that, You love another man? Well, now you've gone too far. It wasn't that long ago when we were being told that black players couldn't play in our games because it would be uncomfortable. And even when they finally could, it would took several more years before a black man played quarterback, because we weren't comfortable with that, either. So many of the same people who used to make that argument, and the many who still do, are the same people who say government should stay out of our lives, but then want government in our bedrooms. I've never understood how they feel comfortable laying claim to both sides of that argument. I'm not always comfortable when a man tells me he's gay. I don't understand his world. But I do understand that he's part of mine. Civil rights activity Audre Lorde said, 'It is not our differences that divide us, but our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.' We've always been able to recognize them. Some of us accept them. And I want to believe that there will be a day when we do celebrate them. I don't know if that day's here yet. I guess we're about to find out. But when I listen to Michael Sam, I do think it's time to celebrate him now."

Dale (and WFAA), you have my utmost support. Thank you.

I could write many more words on this subject, but Dale has already said them well enough. Suffice to say that you can send you support of this message to @dalehansen, @wfaachannel8, and @MikeSamFootball if you so choose, and as I said on Twitter, haters need not apply.

Oh, and PS, just for fun: I'm straight. I've played football on an all-woman team, and several of my teammates were lesbians. We all used the same locker room. It's really not a big deal, folks.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2014 03:38 pm (UTC)
Well said, but there is one sentence I don't understand: "I'm not always comfortable when a man tells me he's gay."

If you know someone already, and one day he tells you he is gay, why would you suddenly feel uncomfortable? Isn't he still the same man?

Personally, I hope there will be a day where it is not necessary anymore to make a statement at all. Where people just - live, whichever way they prefer. People who know you should know anyway and the others soon will find out once you openly talk about your husband instead of your wife and what you did at the weekend.

I'm sending you something in a PM in addition to this post.
Feb. 15th, 2014 04:29 pm (UTC)
Actually, though I completely understand your point and agree with it, I really like that part of the vid.

Because this is an older man. Not only that, this is an older man who has been involved in sports his whole life and is a public figure in the world of sports. He is acknowledging the fact that not everyone is comfortable with gay people, and that that's okay, as long as they accept them. While you and I might be comfortable with gayness, not everyone is, especially in the older generation, and by Dale acknowledging that he is sometimes a little uncomfortable, he's validating those people's feelings, which is important. He can't alienate his whole audience, which is largely comprised of older, sporty men. This is a smart move on his part, and likely an honest one. He probably truly doesn't "understand their world," but that's okay, because he accepts it as part of his world and isn't shutting it down or condemning it.

The point is that you can be uncomfortable all you want, and something can not be for you all you want, but you can't discriminate against it. That's his point, and it's important, because it's important not to tell everyone to just be okay with homosexuality right now. That's not going to happen. Many people are not okay with it, and you can't force someone to be comfortable with something. What you can do is force them to confront their prejudices and realize that while you might not agree with someone's behavior, as long as that behavior doesn't hurt anyone else, your opinion doesn't matter, and you need to get over it. That's what Dale does so very well here, and his acknowledgement of his own occasional discomfort goes a long way toward not just getting him thrown right off the air by bigoted rednecks. This is Texas, remember. He has to be careful, and this is a brilliant way to do that.

And frankly, it also implies progress. It implies a man who is learning to accept. A man who probably would have responded very differently twenty years ago. A man who is letting go of his own discomfort and learning to move on, and that encourages me.

There is nothing in the statement that indicates knowing someone for a long time. It's a general statement. But even it there were, it changes nothing. All of the above still applies.

And yes, I agree. No statements of any kind would be lovely. One day, we'll get there. I firmly believe this.
Feb. 15th, 2014 05:03 pm (UTC)
As long as nobody says "I have nothing against gay people as long as they stay at home and don't push it into my face" I am fine with someone feeling uncomfortable.

I feel uncomfortable as well when I stand at the station waiting for the bus and a man and a woman are excessively kissing. It just feels odd, with everyone standing there and staring. So I rather look somewhere else to give them some privacy. I also feel uncomfortable when I have to listen to someone talking loudly about his whole life and personal problems at his mobile phone in the bus for half an hour (then I got out, he still talked on). Just because we can do it now doesn't mean we need to do it, we could still have those personal phone calls at home. Somehow it does not seem to occur to people to do that?

So if someone doesn't mind exposing himself in the open like that, I can't tell them it's wrong. I do stupid things in the public with my figures as well, after all ;)

There is nothing in the statement that indicates knowing someone for a long time

No, there isn't, I was just assuming because of the "a man tells ME". So that implied to me a conversation between just two people. If a sportsman tells it in the TV to the press then he tells it to the whole world and not just to ME. Maybe I understood it wrong.

I often wonder if I am the only person in the world that indeed just looks at people without any judging. It really does not matter to me what someone wears, which sexuality he has or which skin color. Especially at conventions you can meet the weirdest looking people and they turn out to be the nicest in conversation. So I only judge after I have got to know someone better, and I have made many friends that way. But sometimes someone does a derogatory remark about someone else and I am stunned, as I truly didn't notice whatever upset him.
Feb. 16th, 2014 09:19 am (UTC)
First three paragraphs: exactly.

Fourth and fifth: well, yes, a conversation between two people, but that happens with people one doesn't know as well as people one does.

Sixth: sorry, but I call BS. No one, absolutely no one, doesn't prejudge. I would like to think I don't, and like you, I have met people of all stripes and got on fine with them. I often joke that the only thing I can't tolerate is intolerance. Global nomad an all that due to my military brat upbringing. I'll talk to anyone, much to the chagrin of some that I know. But I'm not naive enough to believe I don't prejudge the guy in the Duck Dynasty shirt with the beer gut and the tobacco in his mouth who smells of liquor at noon on Tuesday as a redneck. I might be wrong, and I'm willing to take the chance that I am and talk to him and he might be a great guy, but I don't for one second believe I looked at him originally without any bias at all. That doesn't exist, even in the most open and best of minds.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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