Monday, May 12, 2014

Why Michael Sam and "The Kiss" Is Huge

Let me begin by submitting full disclosure my position on diversity. I have no problem with different people, different lifestyles, different choices that contrast what I embrace. I am an ardent proponent of diversity in all contexts of life.  Nuff said. Now let me get to it.

Michael Sam and "The Kiss".

Missouri DE Michael Sam had his name called by the St. Louis Rams as the 249th player drafted overall in the 2014 NFL draft.

Anybody following college football already knows Michael Sam is gay and pretty much had no issue with it. The fact that he is gay does not diminish his talents and skills one bit. NFL players didn't give it a second thought. Therefore, when he made the draft cut everybody was cool and congratulatory until "The Kiss".

Sam, the first openly gay NFL draftee, celebrated the emotional moment with a jubilant kiss to his male partner's lips. Some of those viewing Sam's reception of the jubilant moment live, and his subsequent instantaneous emotional display with his partner were caught off guard. Some viewers were appalled, offended, happy, disgusted, upset, joyful, and no reactive. The display of emotion between Sam and his partner became bigger news than the draft itself because of "The Kiss".

I admit the jubilant kiss Sam gave his partner got a double take out of me. As a heterosexual man, I am still yanked back to the reality that gay men in relationships express their emotions to their partners just as I would a wife or girlfriend. Not being attracted to men, I tend to respond to intimate displays of affection among gay men slowly. Two grown men openly kissing with their mouths is still a dynamic of gay male relationships that many people still have to come to grips with. I have seen gay men holding hands and that evoked some weird feeling within me, but I moved on. I have seen gay males intimately hugging and gave it more thought than I should have. Eventually I processed it and moved on. Until Sam's on air kiss, I cannot recall seeing two men intimately kiss out of emotion. Kissing, yes gay people do that.

It's hypocritical to a fault to embrace the LGBT community only cast aspersions on the human binding fabrics of their relationships. I know that and I believe most people know that as well. Equality has to prevail over subjective perceptions of immorality based solely on physical dynamics.

Sam's actions should not be met with hatred and bigotry. Hatred and bigotry are simply stall tactics harbored by those that feel uncomfortable about engaging in a healthy dialogue about what they feel. Those uncomfortable with what they saw should not attack Sam; instead, they should have an open honest dialogue about why we feel what they feel.

This post is my open door to such a dialogue. I invite further communication in the comment section of this blog.

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