If this happened in my high school, I’d probably politely clap and continue
reading my novel observing the award ceremony.
No, really. The Yahoo! article about Mr. Jacob Rudolph reminds me of that article I read about the professional bowler who kissed his husband. There are more important happenings in our country and in the world – Morocco’s adjustment of its rape marriage law, North Korea’s promise to nuke the United States, and the horrible living conditions in Mali to name a few. I think that most of us can agree that there are bigger events that deserve the media’s attention, widespread occurrences that directly affect a larger amount of people.
But keep in mind that gays have gone through so much. From Stonewall to marriage laws, a plethora of GLBT individuals have had their rights pillaged. GLBT teens suffer on a daily basis – I doubt that all the big time news reporters could even cover half of the bullying, ostracization, and name-calling we experience in a week. I wonder how many gay couples have felt awkward showing any sign of affection in public, not because they’re uncomfortable with each other, but because of how those around them will perceive them and treat them with prejudice. These articles, even if they seem insignificant, are a symbol of hope and normalcy – hope that one day being GLBT will be recognized by everyone as a completely normal thing.
It’s not like these articles are hurting anyone either. Sure, they’re taking up space that could be devoted to other things, but so are the articles about Honey Boo Boo and the Kardashians. Think of it as an act of kindness, like that photo of the policeman giving a “homeless” man shoes. Or view it as a portent of progress on a smaller scale, similar to Tammy Baldwin becoming the first GLBT senator.
If Jacob Rudolph came out at my high school, I’d clap for maybe half of a minute. If I were his friend I’d probably congratulate him afterward. But, because he didn’t come out at my high school, and because he’s not my real life friend, all I can do is sit behind my computer, write a sentimental blog post about it, and hope he knows that I care.