Should anyone’s sexuality be newsworthy?

I get goosebumps every time I hear positive news responding to Michael Sam.  The most recent hopeful response came at Missouri’s home basketball game ( when fans gave him a standing ovation.

If you don’t know who Sam is, and you should, let me enlighten you.

Michael Sam is a college senior who, one week ago, came out to the world that he’s gay.  He’s a football player.  And if that’s not “manly” enough, he’s a defensive end… and an elite one at that; he’s one of the top 10 defensive NFL draft prospects this year according to

This has been happening more and more lately.  People coming out publicly about their sexual orientation (former NBA athlete Jason Collins and actress Ellen Page to name a few).  At first it was frustrating to me: do straight people have to announce their straightness?  No.  So why is it when you are gay you are supposed to tell everyone?

As many of you may know, I was recently in a relationship with a woman.  I didn’t announce this anywhere (social media or what have you) for many reasons, namely because it’s not really anyone else’s business.  I told people who were important to me and let others learn from the gossip.

I’m hardly a famous person and don’t even consider myself ‘gay’ but I am beginning to understand why more and more people are publicly announcing their homosexuality.

I think this is a turning point in the history of the world, one in which we’ll look back on and see how much we’ve grown as a society.  It seems like every week someone new is reporting that they are gay and thousands of other Americans are, more quietly, coming out to their own family and friends.

I think the publicity of homosexuality is helping it to become a more commonplace piece of society.  It’s no longer a secret, people can’t ignore it, and we’ll all start to become accepting of it.  At least I can hope for the latter and soon announcements like these will no longer be newsworthy.

In an interview with The Kansas City Star, Sam’s college teammate Henry Josey said, “I definitely think he’ll be accepted in the NFL, because he wants to win games and that’s the most important thing… If you’re winning games and he’s helping you win games, what else can you want from the dude.”

He also added, “God makes everybody differently, but he’s always been the same person and he still acted the same. It wasn’t like he was somebody different after he told us.”

If America’s most manly sport can accept a gay player then I think society certainly has a chance and if it takes headlines and highlights to make this happen then, I say, bring on the spotlights.

Read more from the Josey interview here:

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Danielle Clark

About Danielle Clark

I am 28 years old and for 5 years out of college I played basketball for a living. I was a professional basketball player in Europe so I spent most of my years there and came back to Maine for summers and a couple weeks at Christmas time. I thought my years there would open my eyes to what I want to be when I "grow up." That didn't happen. I have discovered, however, that I just have to try something. Just do things and toss myself into them. I have currently tossed myself into being a college basketball assistant coach and one on one reading tutor. I grew up in Corinna, Maine and have been a resident Mainer. I love sports, reading, writing, cooking, baking, watching movies... everything. I have lots of hobbies and not enough time in the day!