NBA veteran Jason Collins’ announcement this week that he’s gay is an inspiring story. I read his beautifully written piece in Sports Illustrated and am impressed with his bravery, leadership and eloquence.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, he’s the first athlete still competing (or trying to, he’s a free agent after playing for the Washington Wizards last year) in one of the major 4 American sports, to come out during his career. Collins talks about what led him to his decision in an interview on Good Morning America here.
Reaction to the news had social media buzzing Monday. Everyone from Bill Clinton to Kobe Bryant to Julianne Moore took to Twitter to hail Collins’ courage. He even got a personal call from President Obama congratulating him. There were a few curmudgeons, but I don’t see the point in highlighting the thoughts of the provincial.
I was interested in my kids’ responses.
You probably know my three boys (ages 13, 9, and 7) are athletes and fans, and eat, sleep and breathe sports. They often read ESPN.com for scores and stats, even before eating breakfast. So they were well aware of the Collins news when I brought it up at dinner Monday night.
Their response was basically, “So what?”
I’m proud to say that in the eyes of my children, we’re in a time and place where people– even sports stars– being gay is no biggie. We live in a town with a significant gay community– and our next door neighbors are a gay couple with kids.
To my boys, it’s just what is.
When I asked 13-year-old Jacob about the Collins story he shrugged. “It’s no big deal. It’s not really good or bad. It’s just what he’s like…a state of being.”
7-year-old Eli said, “That’s ok. That’s him. He can be what he wants to be. It doesn’t make a difference.”
“Good for him,”9-year-old Aden offered with a smile.
They were so nonchalant, I almost felt stupid for asking.
I figured they would react that way. But it was still great to hear. I hope by the time they’re parents, they won’t even have to ask.