Ellen Page came out.
Now it's my turn. I think it's time I told the world the truth about my sexuality.
I am a heterosexual male.
And the world throws a huge collective yawn. Nobody cares that I am a straight guy.
There may be a few people who care that I am not a homosexual male. But that's not the same thing. Not at all.
Coming out as a straight male costs me nothing. It takes no particular courage. I'm not likely to be ostracized, vilified, disowned, or demonized for it. There will be no real consequences. No one will try to make me change. Not that I could anyway.
Westboro Baptist "Church" probably won't announce a demonstration because I've come out. They did mount a protest against Michael Sam. At least they tried to. University of Missouri students rallied in support of their defensive lineman. They made a human "wall of love" that effectively cut off the hate group's attempted demonstration.
God bless 'em.
There has been discussion about whether Michael Sam will be welcome in NFL locker rooms. It shouldn't be an issue. I'm not saying it won't be an issue. Just that it shouldn't. The fact is every man who has showered in a locker room has probably showered with a gay guy. The only difference is Michael Sam is open about it.
Now that he's out, Michael Sam is still the same talented athlete that we knew.
Now that she's out, Ellen Page is still the same winsome actor we knew before.
The only thing that may have changed is our perceptions of Sam and Page.
I know and love people who are various shades of queer and various degrees of out. In three decades of ministry I have had a few parishioners come out to me. I know people who have struggled for years to accept their own sexuality. I have seen the courage that it took for them to be open in a world that has judged them as defective, perverse, and wrong because of their innate sexual identity. And I have seen that once they come out, they are still the same people they were before.
I like to think that it is getting easier. I like to think that it is getting better. I like to think that because of people like Michael Sam and Ellen Page more young people will find the courage to be open about who they are.
I like to think that a day will come when an LGBTQ person's coming out will be met with huge collective yawn.