A few days ago, FanHouse's David Whitley pondered the issue of gay/lesbian people and stadium "kiss cams." The result was six hundred words of meandering ignorance that essentially concludes with, "well... you know, it might be best if we hide the gays."
On Saturday, a LGBT advocacy group held "Out at the Ballpark," in which a few hundred gay and lesbian people attended the Cardinals game in St. Louis -- part of the idea being that they receive an appropriate slice of time on the kiss cam. Where is David Whitley? Oh, he's just writin' on a nationally-recognized sports site, thinkin' of the children:
I'd like to take the socially enlightened high road on this one, but I can't help sympathizing with that father who'll be sitting next to his son or daughter at Busch Stadium.
"Daddy, why are those two men kissing?"
"Umm, err, hey isn't that Albert Pujols coming to bat?"
I don't have a kid. If I did, I imagine the conversation would go something like this.
"Daddy, why are those two men kissing?"
"They probably love each other."
Yes, yes, I'm super-tolerant. Someone bronze me a trophy. That's the thing: according to friends of mine who have small children, this is not a difficult conversation. Unfortunately, many parents reinforce homosexuality as something to be feared by refusing to even acknowledge it.
"You must remember thisThat was easy for Sam to sing in Casablanca. Rick's Café didn't have a "Kiss Cam" and gays weren't demanding the respect they deserve.
A kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh ..."
Now, they are.
This is one of many examples in this piece of Whitley saying, "don't get me wrong." I really don't think he's a hateful person, I just think he's trying to be consistent with himself and having a really tough time doing so. Anyway, Whitley presumably believes that LGBT advocacy was invented in like 1997 by a mad scientist or something. Whoops!
"Why shouldn't we be on camera, too?"
Because I'm not ready to discuss same-sex relationships with my 3-year-old.
I'm taking that slightly out of context because the next sentence is, "I don't think she's ready, either." But those two sentences are what this entire article is. There are several things about this world that I'd be terrified of discussing with my kid for the first time. Dudes kissing each other on the lips wouldn't be one of them.
I suppose at this point I should say that some of my best friends and relatives are gay.
All the usual disclaimers sound empty to some activists.
To them, the old Shield-the-Kids excuse simply masks an underlying bias.
If "Kiss Cam" showed an interracial couple, would you quickly cover Little Johnny's eyes?
The sooner my kids see examples of racial harmony, the better. But this issue has torn up entire religions. Call me homophobic, but I just don't think a 5- or 10-year-old brain is ready to tackle those complexities.
Besides, can't we just enjoy our peanuts and Cracker Jacks?
This romantic category is beautiful. But this romantic category is terribly confusing for me! Let's just all eat food.
If my daughter grows up and falls happily in love with another woman, I'll proudly walk her down the aisle. But parents should be able to discuss such issues when they choose, not when the local sports team flashes them on a scoreboard.
This is another of those examples I was talking about. Also, Whitley's article could have been radically different, or scrapped altogether, if he had bothered to ask himself some follow-up questions: why is this issue difficult? If a small child learns that some people love other people of the same sex, what are the consequences?
Anyway, I have this thing about spiders. They creep me out. When I have a kid, I'm going to make sure that my kid never learns that spiders exist until he or she is, say, twelve. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to pull this off.
So I understand why gays get mad at "Kiss Cam" pranks. I get why they demand equal time and respect.
I just wish they'd accept that sometimes a kiss is not just a kiss.
Because it's controversial and people are unready/unwilling to accept it, correct? Suppose it's 1930 and we're talking about an interracial kiss. Explain to me how that is any different at all.
What we have here, really, is not a hate column. When Whitley says he's fine with gay people and has gay friends, I believe him, which is why the inconsistency of his "think of the children" argument is so bizarre.