In an article that appeared online this past Saturday, and is slated to be in print today (Sunday), former owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates Kevin McClatchy announced to the public that he is gay. Reports from various media outlets state that he had come out to his family after he purchased the Pirates in 1996, which just happens to be the year I said goodbye to high school and headed to college. There were obviously people at that time who were threatening to out him whether he was ready or not, so being one to take control of his own life, in the face of defamation from others, he told the people that mattered most. Click here to read one article, among many, about the issue.
When you read articles online, take a moment to read one or two comments that follow. It’s no secret that there are many ignorant people in existence today. That goes without saying. We know everyone has opinions…since they are like assholes and everyone has one. They oftentimes smell like crap, but in this “democracy”, everyone has the freedom to speak, even when some should have their mouths sewn shut and their fingers cut off so they can’t type.
I’m not stupid in the fact that I know newspapers are geared to certain members of society they want to reach. There’s one thing for me to walk down the street and pick up the Sunday edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; it’s another thing entirely to look up a topic online and find ten plus matches from various printing companies. Where I can sit down and read the AJC and have to keep my opinions to myself, I can, but choose not to, voice my opinion on the chosen article. There lies an open mic for ignorance to rain down.
I’ve read a few comments after articles on Anderson Cooper, Raven’s player Ayanbadejo, and now McClatchy. One comment will be supportive. The next comment will be from some raving lunatic with an arsenal of the same Bible verses we all know by heart. The last article will be from someone, who is merely trying to sweep the issue under a tacky floor covering. They might say something like, “Who cares?” or “With all the unemployed in our country, why waste ink or bandwidth to spread this news?” Whether that is meant to try and get people’s attention away from the story at hand or not, it doesn’t work and certainly doesn’t help anything. In reality, it tends to bring out more of the loons who think they have another on their team of negativity.
If we look at these people more closely, we would probably see those who haven’t the slightest idea what’s going on around them. They’re the kid in the back of the class that, when asked a question, stutters in amazement when the teacher recognizes he wasn’t paying attention. The kid didn’t read the lesson before class, didn’t care enough to ask friends what was going on, and obviously was never steered toward understanding his mistakes by his parents. Wouldn’t you agree to this analogy?
The statement of “Who cares?” makes me want to grab them by the throat and squeeze their head off. Oh, let’s count the thousands of people who on hearing this news felt like one more person was finally on their team with a voice that could and would be heard. Think about the gay and lesbian teens who are playing sports under the disguise of a straight person as to not be bullied and live in fear from day to day. Those are the people who care. If reading an article about someone coming out and no longer being afraid to be who they are helps anyone else deal with life’s troubles, then a great deal of good has been done.
And to save this from getting even longer, that’s the reason why the ink isn’t wasted and why there is always bandwidth available to help out others in need of a good word.
I’m very thankful that Mr. McClatchy felt it was time to come out. I know what that feeling is like. There’s a feeling of calmness and a feeling of a lighter load when the inside truth comes out for all to see. Not to sound cliché, but there’s another bright light in the LGBT community and I am proud to have him among us.