This post is in response to Matt Walsh’s viral blog post about the Michael Sam.
I have to commend you for your effort, because truly, of the homophobic people in American society you have really showed yourself as one of the more well-spoken of the posts I have read regarding Michael Sam. I think that your points about keeping sexuality private is a valid issue. I think that those who flaunt their sexuality for the media are in the wrong, generally speaking, and in past months I have seen much more of Miley Cyrus than I ever hoped to. However, the “two way street” that you describe, is not just for Michael Sam.
You said that he can’t “have it both ways” as in keeping his private life private and simultaneously seeking out media outlets to “come out” to the general public. Some can say this is a publicity stunt, and though they may be right, there is another side of the “two way street” that people seem to be forgetting.
Discrimination based on sexuality has been historically been a silent battle. It’s not that people such as yourself, Matt, have a problem with someone else being gay, it’s that you shouldn’t have to know. This feels strikingly similar to asking the gay community of America to stay silent, purposefully hide who they are to the public, and fear being “outed”. Michael Sam seeking out media is for the public, but it’s more than just shouting from the roof about who he sleeps with, it’s a statement that America is allowing for publicly gay figures to not be punished for their sexuality like they have been in the past.
As much as we’d probably like to think that this country is filled with people “fawning” over Michael Sam, there are many, yourself included, who criticize his coming out as solely a ploy to get sponsors. If that is the case, welcome to capitalist Hollywood Matt. It’s the way celebrities have become celebrities for many many years, but you didn’t write an article about how Kanye sought out the media to announce his engagement to Kim Kardashian, because maybe that just isn’t offensive enough to you. Michael Sam’s fame, while coveted, just doesn’t feel the same as a 72 hour marriage to me. It feels more like a part of American society that is changing, and yes it is a historical moment, because other countries in the world right now are murdering people legally, because of their sexuality.
So let me just clarify for you that you don’t have to care about Michael Sam’s sexuality. You don’t have to write a blog post for your 13,000+ followers about shaming a man who publicly made a statement about something he believes in, because it seems to me that you do almost exactly the same thing in your spare time, or even for a living, like someone else we know. And Michael Sam probably doesn’t care what you think about him “as a man”, or as a public figure, because he is too busy riding his success like every other celebrity that has existed forever.
So the reason I’m responding isn’t because I think Michael Sam is the new Ellen Degeneres, because let’s face it, Ellen’s coming out was WAY more controversial (getting her removed from her own show, and pulling her sponsorships, in this country, less than 25 years ago). I am responding because your comments were so heinously hypocritical, that I thought you should be publicly outed for it. And me? I’m going to post this anonymously, because unlike you, I really actually and honestly do not care if people read this. America has already proven that we as a country are moving in the direction of acceptance, so I suggest you either get to accepting, or stepping out of the way, because when it comes down to it, this country has already decided whose side it’s on.