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April 29, 2013

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Agree in general, except that his career might be coming to an end anyway, so his "downside" risk is slightly less than if he were up-and-coming and faced the possibility of prejudiced teammates, owners, or fans cutting his NBA career short. Not to say he isn't brave or right, only that he is not quite the 100% perfect poster boy for the issue.

To dr ngo's point, he's a free agent and 34, so may never play again. Although that will be an interesting test of tolerance in the NBA.

Which reminds me of a comment I think Scottie Pippen made many years ago. He was asked when he thought there would be an openly gay player in the NBA, and his response was "when hell freezes over." My recollection was that response was made with no malice or judgment at all, but just a statement of fact. Hopefully he will be wrong.

This story on ESPN is (mostly) encouraging.

I'm waiting fro the first gay NASCAR driver.

Seriouly, I am thank ful for this guy. The more people who stand up, the better for everyoe else.

He may not play again. But the chances of someone his age getting signed are above 60% (per Nate Silver), so he may well get another few seasons. What is really nice is that the reaction so far from around the NBA seems mostly supportive, with a few "so what?" thrown in as well; no negative reactions anywhere.

But I agree with Laura, the first openly gay NASCAR drive will be a more significant milestone.

The first openly gay NASCAR driver was Ecan Darling. Didn't go well. But you can Google him.

Evan

only that he is not quite the 100% perfect poster boy for the issue.

That's interesting, cause now I'm trying to imagine the perfect poster boy. Would it be the superstar at the height of his ability? Or the dead certain first round draft pick who is willing to give up a chance in the NBA to come out? The reason why I said you can't think of a better candidate is that he is a bit better protected than others because of his connections and his playing record so in terms of the problems he may experience, it won't be as bad as it could be, and I was thinking of the situation with John Fashanu, but you both have honed in on the notion that the perfect poster boy needs to have something substantial to lose. I can see how one could argue that, but it seems like an example of the damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario.

Oh, I wasn't thinking of milestones. I was thinking of ...incongruence between stereoptypes.

That's partly how stereotypes get busted, of course. Of gay guys or of race car drivers.

GThanks for the heads up about ecan Darling. I'll google him.

Thanks for the pointer, Marty. I went to Wikipedia for Evan Darling, and there was surprisingly no entry, but google yielded this and this. The first link has this

His brother, Ryan Darling is the Director for U.S. Senate Relations for the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation.

Apparently Evan Darlig is havig trouble attracting sponsors, according to the articles I Found.

Whoops, hit post too soon. I just added that last bit not to tweak anyone, just cause I thought it was surprising.

I love this from one of LJ's links:


"Darling’s family was never supportive of him being gay and sent him to a psychologist to cure him of his homosexuality. However, after six weeks of therapy, the doctor determined that Darling was perfectly normal, happy and confident and there was nothing wrong with him … the problem was with his parents"

Lj's second link is really sad.

Not to take anything away from Jason, being openly gay in Florida at seventeen, 25 years ago, took a different level of courage. Trying NASCAR, even more.

There's a cause someone should be discussing in MSM.

That's interesting, cause now I'm trying to imagine the perfect poster boy. Would it be the superstar at the height of his ability? Or the dead certain first round draft pick who is willing to give up a chance in the NBA to come out?

To take this a step further, suppose someone is a top performer, gay and values their privacy. Andrew Sullivan, if I am reading him right, seems to think gay role models should out themselves, for the benefit of others. I can see the logic, but he also criticizes those who don't, implying if not expressing that those who are not out are letting others do the fighting for them.

To repeat, I see the logic; I'm just not sure it is for anyone to say that someone else needs to put their sexuality into the public domain. Further, the gay people I know socially and professionally don't seem to make an issue of it one way or the other in terms of informing me or anyone else of their sexuality. Then again, Houston has a very large gay population, a gay mayor, and a local ethic of minding our own business.

Does taking the largest career risk necessarily translate to the the greatest benefit to the cause of gay rights and acceptance? Is it a question of demonstrating a willingness to risk a lot being enouraging to others, or is it a matter of an anticipated and potentially great downside never materializing, showing that someone who was already known to be gay could acheive some sort of greatness (in a not-traditionally-seen-as-gay endeavour)?

I thought Sully was happy to let individuals decide for themselves, but was just especially scornful of those who were secretly gay, and yet persecuted gays in their pre-out public life.

Ugh, check out Sully 4/29/13 at 1:58 as one example. I've seen others of a similar nature, including taking Elena Kagan to task for not openly declaring her sexuality. Sully opposes outing others involuntarily, but criticizes those in public positions for not self-outing--or at least that's my take.

right. he prefers to publicly heap vitriol on those who didn't think it was their duty to carry his movement's flag.

right. he prefers to publicly heap vitriol on those who didn't think it was their duty to carry his movement's flag.

Yeah, he's a smart guy, but he will brutalize one person and in virtually same the breath, ream someone else out for their incivility.

Further, the gay people I know socially and professionally don't seem to make an issue of it one way or the other in terms of informing me or anyone else of their sexuality.

That's really weird.

I mean, almost all the straight people I know inform me of their sexuality. For example, my (male) coworkers will say something like "I have to run home early because my wife is sick." And bam! I know that they're heterosexual. One of my newer (also male) coworkers was telling me about a local event he thought I'd like and he mentioned that he and his husband have been going for the last three years.

I can't imagine how you'd go through professional life without ever informing your coworkers of your sexual preference without making an enormous effort. I mean, you'd have to never ever mention your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend in conversation and you'd have to make sure to never keep family photographs on your desk or even on your computer desktop. I don't know how you'd describe a vacation that you just returned from for example. It is not physically impossible, but it does sound really really exhausting. The notion that most people go through life without ever informing anyone of their heterosexuality is straight privilege I think.

The notion that most people go through life without ever informing anyone of their heterosexuality is straight privilege I think.

Turb, if you go back and read what you quote, I am addressing gay people and making the point that they don't *make an issue* of informing me of their sexuality. My word choice was intentional. Of course, as a matter of everyday conversation, it might be revealed as an incidental matter that I have a wife, and thus am heterosexual and married, which is entirely different from me, or anyone else, making it a point to declare myself to be heterosexual or gay. Any number of gay friends and acquaintances refer incidentally to their partners or spouses or husbands/wives, which almost never gives me information I had not already surmised. Nor is their intent to inject their sexuality into the discussion or to inform me of it.

We can debate white or straight privilege some other time. Not surprisingly, I don't buy into either notion much at all, and your comment is one reason why. My words were clear, but they get mangled to make a political/social point that doesn't exist. Also, the concept of 'privilege' is so nebulous, it can't be refuted. The notion simply declares what my state of mind is and , as a matter of predisposition, is totally unwilling to believe otherwise. I call it progressive privilege.

McTex, for a lot of LGBT folk, they cannot casually reference their spouse in conversation, because doing so would identify them as homosexual and they believe that would open them up to discrimination. I mean, unless you're certain that you're coworkers are OK with gay people (how can you be certain?), telling them that you're gay is very risky. They might find some excuse to fire you; they might shun you socially; they might even beat you. Your career might suddenly stall for no apparent reason. After all, many people in this country believe that homosexuality is intrinsically linked with pedophelia (why won't the boy scouts allow gay scoutmasters?). Wouldn't you be worried if your coworkers thought you were a pedophile?

So, for most gay people, the decision to "casually" mention their spouse in conversation at work is a fraught one that they had to think carefully about. Whereas you and I never need to even consider the possibility of negative consequences because no one is going to fire us or stall our career or think that we're a pedophile if we casually mention that we have wives at work. We get to glide through life blissfully unaware that this might be a problem while LGBT folk have to stop and think carefully and worry about what decision to make and then maybe have to spend years terrified that they'll slip up. That is a privilege.

My words were clear, but they get mangled to make a political/social point that doesn't exist.

Do you understand that LGBT folk have to think carefully about whether it is safe to mention their sexual orientation at work (by mentioning their spouse)? Or do you believe that no gay person has ever been discriminated at work after casually mentioning their spouse in conversation?

Do you understand that LGBT folk have to think carefully about whether it is safe to mention their sexual orientation at work (by mentioning their spouse)? Or do you believe that no gay person has ever been discriminated at work after casually mentioning their spouse in conversation?

You are mixing and matching to get the result you want. Sure, there is discrimination against gay people that doesn't exist for straight people. And, sure, if a gay person works somewhere where being gay could be an issue, they'd likely keep their sexuality to themselves. Straight people don't have that issue. Instead, they have the issue of getting lectured about the privilege of being straight. Sorry, I'm not buying into a concocted guilt trip. I was simply trying to make the point that, in Houston, we have a lot of gay people and none of the openly, unashamed, completely out, no doubt about it gay people I know or know about make a big deal about their sexuality. Further to the point, the people I know who haven't gotten over their issues with the fact of some people being gay pretty clearly recognize that taking shots at gay people is not well received, to say the least. But I'm talking about where I live. I can't speak for other places.

Sure, there is discrimination against gay people that doesn't exist for straight people.

Yeah, some of them get murdered occasionally or beaten or disowned by their families. No biggie though.

And, sure, if a gay person works somewhere where being gay could be an issue, they'd likely keep their sexuality to themselves.

How do you know if your work place is one such place? I mean, how can you tell? There are a lot of homophobes who keep their mouth shut; how can you be sure it is safe? And if you can't be sure, is it really worth the risk to torpedo your career?

Straight people don't have that issue. Instead, they have the issue of getting lectured about the privilege of being straight.

Man that must be awful. Is that like getting murdered or beaten or disowned by your family?

By the way, what constitutes lecturing? Were you lecturing me in the West Texas thread? Or is lecturing just 'arguing I don't like'?

Yeah, some of them get murdered occasionally or beaten or disowned by their families. No biggie though.

Yes, this happens. This is at the extreme end of gay persecution, but it certainly happens. But we were talking about a completely different topic, which you have yet to address.

How do you know if your work place is one such place? I mean, how can you tell? There are a lot of homophobes who keep their mouth shut; how can you be sure it is safe? And if you can't be sure, is it really worth the risk to torpedo your career?

Well, I know that one of my attorney's sons is gay and married to his husband and that my secretary has a gay step son who she really likes. And I know that their careers have been unaffected by that.

Man that must be awful. Is that like getting murdered or beaten or disowned by your family?

No, being lectured by the self-righteous on my state of mind is not like being murdered, beaten or disowned by my family. In fact, it's the opposite. Its' amusing.

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Whatnot


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