Michael Sam, Ellen Page, and Why I Really Don’t Give A Damn

It troubles me that the sexual preferences of celebrities and athletes is still a newsworthy moment in these times. Obviously, people’s feathers ruffle at the thought that someone in a well-to-do position, be it an actor or football player, enjoys lovemaking from the same sex, as if it’s any different than the gay couple in the market or at the gym. But, why?

What the hell does it have to do with you and your life?

Ellen Page is a fine actress. I enjoyed her performances in Juno and Inception. The fact that she’s gay rubs me neither this nor that way. It does nothing to the impact of her work on the big screen. Admittedly, I now assume that she didn’t enjoy the kisses with Michael Cera or Joseph Gordon-Levitt in those films as much as I may have liked to believe, but, that’s of such little significance I second-guessed typing this sentence. (Humor made me do it. Or rather, lack thereof.)

Michael Sam, the openly homosexual NFL prospect, has yet to entertain me. I haven’t watched him in action. But, he’s spread across the news for his lifestyle more so than his physical prowess. I don’t know how fast he runs the forty yard dash. I don’t know which teams are pursuing him. I know he’s gay and I fail to see the reason so.

Which is of more importance here?

Maybe if every homosexual celebrity revealed such intimate details about themselves to the public, it would desensitize the media outlets enough for this to never make the headlines. Perhaps that would be bad for business. Promoters would fret at the idea of their clients losing steam from fans who fail to recognize that these people have careers, separate from their home lives which is separate from the prying eyes and intrusive ears of the world; lives that don’t necessarily coincide with their image. Perhaps these people have the right, same as the rest of us, to live their own lives with dignity, enough so that what they do in private can remain as such.

Is that too much to ask?

Haven’t we learned how to juxtapose fantasy and reality? Are parents teaching their children to idolize the people on their flat screens?

Mine never did. My favorite musicians and athletes were always flawed. Michael Jackson was a reported pedophile. Michael Jordan was competitive to a maniacal degree. Kobe Bryant was accused and acquitted of rape, but was ultimately guilty of marital infidelity. Eminem was a drug addict. The list goes on…

Somehow, the spectacular tube we watch these entertainers on imprints our psyches such that to imagine them as civilians burdened with the same emotions and desires as ourselves frazzles the mind. All this technological advancement and we haven’t learned to properly interpret the TV and its inhabitants.

We need to mature. We need to prioritize. We need to stop judging and start understanding for the sake of our children’s future, if nothing else.

I’m Andre Johnson, and I’m a heterosexual.

Did that just change anything?

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How An Obese Town Lost a Million Pounds

Oklahoma City is a mid-sized town that had a big problem: It was among the most obese towns in America. Mayor Mick Cornett realized that, to make his city a great place to work and live, it had to become healthier too. In this charming talk, he walks us through the interlocking changes that helped OKC drop a collective million pounds (450,000 kilos).