Former defensive back for the Tennessee Titans, Wade Davis, recently came out of the closet and discussed life as a gay man in the NFL.
I applaud Wade for his bravery. I know it is difficult to tell the world that you’re a homosexual. There’s always going to be a fear of coming out of the closet in this society.
You fear that your friends and family will no longer love you. You fear that you will no longer be accepted as a man. You fear how you will be treated by the ignorant people that will harass and berate you because they don’t understand who you truly are. And you will continue to have those fears until this society changes its views on homosexuality.
Wade is one of many closeted homosexuals that we all put on a pedestal because of their talents. No matter which facet of entertainment you look into, be it sports, movies, music, even in politics, there are men and women who have to hide who they truly are because they fear how we will react to it.
Well like it or not, once you step into spotlight and you earn, or bestowed in some cases, that title of celebrity, you become a role model. You have the power to sway the outcomes of elections. You have the power to change the way we dress. You are in a position to dictate what is and what is not acceptable if you use your words and influence correctly, and like it or not, you have a responsibility to do so.
I’m not saying live life completely pious; you’re a human that’s ridiculous. I’m also not telling you how to think. If you disagree with homosexuality I may not agree with you, but I respect your right to hold that opinion, however ignorant it may be.
But if you’re gay and you live life in the closet, you are telling the world that there is something wrong with your lifestyle, and that it’s OK to attack people just like you. People who have the same preference as you, who are attacked on a daily basis just like you, and who struggle with the same reality as you.
I know you’re human and you didn’t ask to have that power, but I’m talking about something way bigger than you. I’m talking about that gay teen that doesn’t have anyone to talk to or look up to that will tell him or her,
“It’s OK if you’re gay, just love yourself. If the people around you who claim to love you reject you because of your preference, then they don’t really love and probably would bring you down anyway.”
That same teen may kill himself because he has no one around him he can look up to that will accept him, or at least look up to. You are going through the same situation as him and thousands of others just like him.
Approximately 1,240 teens kill themselves every year due to issues with their sexual orientation. One of those 1,240 could’ve grown up and made huge strides in LGBT rights and that in turn would’ve made life easier for you. Your acceptance of who you are could’ve helped one of those teens through that difficult time in his life where he felt like he shouldn’t live anymore because of the disgrace he put on his family, or the rejection from his family.
At least he has his favorite entertainer to look up to who gives him someone that he feels will accept him when no one else does. If you’re afraid of the reaction of those who claim they love you, remember this.
If they will reject you for who you really are, they don’t love you, they loved the facade. Those are the same people that will bring you down, and God forbid, if the day comes where you no longer have the fame and the fortune, I guarantee you they won’t be there. So those motherf*ckers don’t matter.
This is bigger than you. Being real with yourself has the potential to save lives.