This Week in the Mercury

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Frank Bruni on Jason Collins

Posted by Eli Sanders on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Read it:

“I’m a 34-year-old N.B.A. center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”

The gay part will now define him, in the public eye, more than any other. It will be the prompt for the loudest cheers he basks in and the nastiest jeers he sloughs off.

But in the opening paragraph, it comes after his age and occupation and race, getting no more space, in that one passage and for that brief moment, than other aspects of his identity. It’s a detail among many, but not the defining one.

That’s the integrated way that things should be, the unremarkable way a person’s sexual orientation ought to be lived and perceived.

It shouldn't have to prompt a phone call from the president, Bruni adds. (Or a Tweet from Michelle Obama.) But since it still does, consider for a moment how remarkable it is to have a president and first lady willing to tell Collins: "We've got your back!"

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