Saturday, February 15, 2014

One of these things is not like the other...

So I'm in a colleague's office Saturday (yes, Saturday...yes, I'm looking for a new job) and he pulls his web browser up to show me some pictures of a dog breed he's interested in.  His home page is some news headline site.  I didn't catch which one it was.

What I saw from the headlines really made me wonder about our priorities--or at least the priorities of who passes for journalists these days.

Most of the top stories were about the Olympics:  who took gold, what America got, and so on.  Another one or two were about all the violence in Syria.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that because especially with the Olympics on, news about the Levantine powder keg has been perhaps not where it should be.

Okay, so maybe old news is no news, "dolphins still missing" and all that.  But still, if nothing else, the Christian genocide in the Middle East gets almost as much attention as the back-alley-type abortion mills that we were warned would crop up if abortion were never legalized (but, it turns out, cropped up anyway).  But I digress.

So there are all these articles about the Olympics, and a few about violence in Syria, and one other one. What was that one about?

Some actress turns out to be a lesbian.

Wow.  That's really on par with a major, peaceful, international event; and with violence in the Middle East?  Color me dissenting.

Okay, I know that in this day and age it's still sometimes to explain why, for example, your parents may never have grandchildren.  I don't mean to trivialize that or any other particular reason.  In fact, just the opposite.

Part of the reason it's still sometimes tough to talk about your sexuality in public?  It's because sexuality is not a public matter.  It's normally addressed discreetly because it's such an important and often delicate topic.  Everybody poops, too, but that's not an excuse for you to do it in public.  And I don't want to see any pedantic criticisms about me comparing sexuality to defecation; you'll notice first that I didn't specify any kind or sort of sexuality, and you'll notice also that I'm only pointing out that they are both discreet topics, which any lucid adult will acknowledge without getting hung up on any differences or similarities that I am not bringing up at all.

I realize a lot of this is part of a concerted effort to normalize homosexuality, to get people used to the idea that it's out there, it's everywhere, it's natural and normal and no big deal.  Granted, that's going to be tough when it makes the headlines every time someone well-known or a close relative of someone well-known comes out; and when people introduce themselves in irrelevant situations by "Hi, I'm So-and-so, and I'm gay."  I don't care.  It doesn't matter.  Are you interviewing housemates and are worried about the drama of renting a room to a bigot?  Okay, that's worth considering.  Did your pushy mother and father compel you to go on a blind date with someone they think will be compatible enough with you to get them the aforementioned grandchildren?  Okay, good to get that out in the open right up front so you're not wasting each other's time.

Otherwise?  It's not news, pal.  It just isn't.  Word's going to get out enough when the gossip rags start mentioning actress A being more than a little chummy with actress B.

You know who else introduces themselves by "Hi, I'm So-and-so, and I'm X?"  Alcoholics.  But they don't do it for the acceptance of everyone else.  They do it to admit it to themselves.  And they don't have the media embedded in their AA meetings.

Even the famous ones.