Boston Herald and WEEI radio sports dude, Steve Buckley, penned a personal column this week, "Welcome to my coming-out party." Which I didn't read, at first, because frankly the tide is turning so much that "Don't Ask Don't Tell" was repealed and Sarah Palin is re-tweeting her support of gay rights. It seems that (finally) gun-toting, sports-watching, military-joining manly men can also be gay.
Yes, it's about time. And now it's time to make "coming out of the closet" as mundane of an act as buying your first home. It may mean a hell of a lot to you, and the people living with you, but the rest of us can just show up with a gift or a bottle of wine without any raging emotions spewing in your direction. Let's act like it's normal -- not a freak show, okay?
That doesn't mean Buckley's essay on coming out and the death of his mother didn't get to me, when I finally sat down to peruse his motivation for publicly coming out at middle age. It did.
Buckley is a writer devoted to the nostalgia of the Red Sox, which means he's gotta have heart. Which he wore right on his sleeve in this coming out essay he planned to write with his mother's encouragement, seven years ago. His mother died before he got the chance to write it, and the issue became tangled up in his grief.
The timing suddenly became right following the well-publicized deaths of young people who were outed, or were bullied for being gay, or "seeming" gay.
I have read sobering stories about people who came undone, killing themselves after being outed. These tragic events helped guide me to the belief that if more people are able to be honest about who they are, ultimately fewer people will feel such devastating pressure.
Which does seem like the best reason to come out in a public forum. And judging by the multiple removed comments from Buckley's piece, it seems there are still plenty of people who can't accept differences, and must crap all over anyone who is not exactly like them.
So a sports writer is out. Military men and women are coming out. Can we all agree that gay people live and work among us, and it's no big deal? Great. Thanks.
What did you think about Steve Buckley's column?
Image via Boston Sports Media