The Michael Sam kiss brought about much discussion after the NFL draft, and much of it was ignorant. Go figure.
If you didn’t see it, as the Missouri linebacker got a call that he was being drafted by the St. Louis Rams, he celebrated by kissing his boyfriend. The problem with that, I guess, is that ESPN filmed it. And it raised many questions from the general public:
- Why is ESPN filming this? Do they show heterosexual couples kissing upon being drafted? Because my brain now thinks I’ve never seen that before. Ever.
- What about the children watching? Do I have to explain gay people to my children? Because that sounds difficult, and I’ve got a bunch of Real Housewives episodes to catch up on.
- Also … If this happens now, what’s next??!! A guy gets picked and then celebrates by lovingly fisting his German shepherd to the sound of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”?? I mean, c’mon people, that’s just logical progression!!
So here we are, against the backdrop of a very hetero setting – the NFL draft. And all of a sudden, there are these two guys interracially kissing.
Do I have to explain gay people to my children? Because that sounds difficult, and I’ve got a bunch of Real Housewives episodes to catch up on.
Oh, wait; did I mention that Sam is black and his boyfriend is white? Yeah, that happened too. I don’t know if I could’ve constructed a more effective scenario to get a conservative’s head to explode. Maybe, if just after the kiss, Sam announced he was donating his entire salary to the poor while wearing an American flag thong.
Feeling uneasy about it, though, isn’t just exclusive to bible-thumping ‘Murica lovers. I’m a white male heterosexual, but at the same time, I’d like to think I’m a progressive-thinking, well-reasoned, almost-40-year-old Homo sapien. And let me tell you, when I see two guys kiss, it’s a little gross.
I don’t mean it to be. I don’t want it to be. That’s just how I’m wired. I’m not gonna run out of the room screaming and puking, or change the channel, or even call the front desk of the hotel and demand my money back because I “accidentally chose” the wrong pay-per-view movie. But it is a little different for me, so for now, I am probably going to react like I’m at a friend’s house for dinner and they made a vegetable I don’t want to eat, so I will try to be polite.
Kissing is a pretty intimate act, especially the kiss of two lovers. I mean, I think I’d prefer my wife give out a dry, anonymous HJ to some random guy rather than have her engage in a prolonged session of passionate kissing with him (yay, sports talk!!).
But the reason you don’t “notice” when a man and a woman kiss is because it’s so commonplace and it’s in line with how most of us are wired. In fact, I can probably speak for most guys by saying that, if the player’s girlfriend/wife is somewhat attractive and they share a celebratory kiss onscreen, we’ll forget the guy is even there, or at best, he’s just a fantasy surrogate for us for a 10-second time frame in order to satiate our dirty imaginations. Then we look up at our dirtbag friends and say something thoughtful and sincere like, “I bet ya she throws a nice one,” or “She could use some implants, but other than that…,” or any of the other horrifically wonderful ways we straight men bond.
…Having gay players on your team is only an issue because they always lose the “Let’s see who can father the most illegitimate children” contest.
Let me take time out to say kudos to Sam for coming out. I’m glad he did. I’m not sure about the environment it will create in the locker room. But I would like to think the NFL is filled with professionals who want to make money and win rings. And if Sam pans out to be a capable player, then his sexuality shouldn’t rise to the forefront.
But I’m probably giving football locker rooms a bit too much credit. He most likely won’t be showered with acceptance. I’m guessing that Sam’s road will be a difficult one. It’s the road that starts with him here and now upon being drafted, and ends in a time when having gay players on your team is only an issue because they always lose the “Let’s see who can father the most illegitimate children” contest.
So when is that magical time of harmony going to happen in the NFL or sports in general? Next year? In five years? In 20? Never?
I’m not really sure. I think I’ll probably see it in my lifetime. Especially if I cut down on the fried foods and get off my ass every once in a while. But don’t automatically chastise those who get a little uneasy when men kiss.
And let’s face it, it’s a man-on-man problem. It’s not a problem for us when women kiss passionately.
It’s probably gonna take time to get used to. Or we may never get used to it.
The short answer is: I don’t know how I’m going to feel about it or if I’ll ever get used to it, because honestly, I don’t see many men kiss each other. And that’s probably the biggest issue here. While some will use it to further their hate, most reasonable people are just mentally unpacking the whole scenario. It’s a difficult thing for my brain to wrap around. It’s like someone explaining 3-D printers to me and what they can do, and I jump through a closed window while yelling “It’s sorcery!!!”
I say love who you want. Marry who you want. And give me a little time not to equate your public intimacy with badly cooked Brussels sprouts.
I don’t have a problem with anyone’s sexuality. You were born a certain way. I was born to like lady parts. It’s part of my internal makeup. And while a gay man might find a lady part disgusting, I might find two-man PDAs a little off-putting.
That’s it. I’m not gonna start a crusade of hate. I see two guys kissing, and I’m like, “Oh, OK … well, that’s happening.”
I say love who you want. Marry who you want. And give me a little time not to equate your public intimacy with badly cooked Brussels sprouts. Change doesn’t happen overnight. So don’t expect it so quickly. But it does happen. And hopefully, Michael Sam started us on that road.