Raynard Jackson

Rick Welts, “I’m gay.”  Don Lemon, “I’m gay.”  Will Sheridan, “I’m gay.” Uhhhhhhhhhh,  ENOUGH!

Who cares?  Does the public really care about their sex lives?  Who these people choose to be romantic with is of no concern to me and should be of no concern to those who know them.

Rick Welts is the president of the Phoenix Suns professional basketball team.  He is very well respected and is considered one of the best executives in all of professional sports.  Don Lemon is a weekend anchor for CNN news in Atlanta.  Will Sheridan played college basketball for Rutgers University (and is now an aspiring singer).

This week each of them, independent of each other, all admitted in the media that they were gay.  They were not caught in some compromising position and threatened with blackmail.  They just felt the public had a “right” to know.

Here is what Lemon had to say, “I think if you’re going to be in the business of news {as a reporter}, and telling people the truth, of trying to shed light in dark places, then you’ve got to be honest. You’ve got to have the same rules for yourself as you do for everyone else.”

Are you kidding me?  One of the supposed tenets of journalism is to report what happens and not become part of the story.  What does his sexual preference have to do with his reporting on a story?  So, Mr. Lemon, I want to know how much money you make, your home address, your cell and home numbers, your social security number, the name and address of your parents, etc.

Lemon is basically saying that we, the public, have a “right” to know his deepest, darkest, most private information.  This is ludicrous.

I am really having a difficult time understanding why the public needs to know this.  None of this information is relevant to the performance of their jobs.  None of this has anything to do with workplace camaraderie.  None of this is anyone’s business.

This public confessional will not make them a better executive, a better anchor, or a better singer.  As a matter of fact, if I admitted to a co-worker that I was a Christian (and they did not share my belief), it could be construed as workplace harassment.  Just ask any human resources professional.

But, from all the media accounts of these confessionals, you would have thought they just survived the Holocaust.

Here is what former Bill Clinton aide, Keith Boykin, had to say, “Don Lemon is probably the most high profile “mainstream” black gay man alive today, and his simple act of courage will help redefine not only how society sees black gay men, but how we see ourselves.”  Boykin has lost his mind.

Are gays discriminated against?  Sometimes.  But they are protected by laws, not because they are gay, but because they are humans.  That is why I am fundamentally against the “gay rights” movement.

Being gay is not and should not be a protected class, being human is.  If you are assaulted, there are laws on the books that punish the perpetrator—not for hitting a gay person, but for hitting a person.

Gays who feel the need to have these public confessionals are not so much concerned about equality; but rather acceptance.

We know that the media is very liberal, thus they are trying to make heroes out of these gays who have gone public.  They are not heroes, they are regular people.

Would the media react the same way to someone who publically admitted they had a drug problem, alcohol problem, or a stealing problem?  Should they be portrayed as heroes too?

These are all about personal choices and the fear that public knowledge of these behaviors, in their thinking, might cause them to be frowned upon by society—thus be discriminated against.

Who you choose to be intimate with is a personal and private matter.  I find it quite disturbing that gays feel the need to thrust their private proclivities upon the public.

If you choose to be gay, have at it.  But, I don’t have to be in agreement with your lifestyle choices; nor does it preclude us from going out to dinner or a ball game.  If we are friends, we are friends because you are a nice person, not because you are a nice, gay person.

Ironically, the word gay ends with the letter “y.”  As in why do gays feel the public needs to know what sex they choose to be intimate with?  Why do they attempt to force private, personal information into the public arena?  Why do they think the public even cares about their private choices?

In the end, I don’t care who they choose to be intimate with and would prefer not to be told.  I won’t ask, so please don’t tell!  Enough already.

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm.  He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (www.excellstyle.com) & U.S. Africa Magazine (www.usafricaonline.com). 


2 Responses to “Enough!”

  1. Mr. Jackson I rarely agree with you but totally agree with you here. Ones sexual orientation or sexual “habits” are personal. First and foremost, If your “gaydar” is working correctly you already knew. By “coming Out”, Mr. Lemon has now subjected himself to geing discriminated against by his own admission. He will probably lose longtime viewers of his show on CNN which means CNN will lose points in the ratings arena, which could have adverse effects on him personally. Here I’m totally in agreement with Former President Bill Clinton, “DON’T ASK………and I WON’T TELL”. Elen Degeneres is a prime example here. When she went public, the world and Hollywood turned their back on she and her then partner Ann Heche, and it was a long and hard climb back up the ladder. Had she kept her personal business personal, she would be even bigger now than she is. We really need to learn how to benefit from other’s Mistakes.

  2. bigpoppa44 Says:

    While a great deal of your treatise is accurate, the most salient points are at the very least, inaccurate. I cannot identify all the reasons why, but one may be because you are not a part of the LGBT community. One would have to be living in isolation to make your opening statement: “Who cares? Does the public really care about their sex lives? Who these people choose to be romantic with is of no concern to me and should be of no concern to those who know them.” You’re kidding, right. I would grant you that the LGBT community continues to exert pressure on government and the general public at large, sometimes to a fault. But this zeal is fed by an equal and opposite zeal that would deny all kinds of rights based on sexuality (marriage, adoption, tax liability) that can be/are taken for granted by others. So the answer to “who cares” is “all the powers-that-be.” Are others (general public) concerned about the gay community? Yes a thousand times yes. It is not always spoken but the bias is there in our churches, housing, employment, etc. I need my own column to fully expand this, but you get the idea. Should the high profile folk you mentioned “come out” and does it matter. Not really. The height of their position separates them from those who must deal with the aforementioned issues on a more direct, even daily basis. Proof of this is in your own statements. While I’m sure you think yourself “tolerant” as the next person, you actually compared the LGBT community (deemed a positive and affirming lifestyle by those who live it) to substance abuse and other criminal activity! These comparisons are clearly apples and oranges. Your statements belie the subtle biases that permeate our society at all levels AND affirm all the more strongly the need for the LGBT community to press for its rights; NOT ACCEPTANCE as you so smugly put it. Even your respondents, who probably think themselves liberal and or tolerant want to blame folk like Mr. Lemon for inviting discrimination just because he chose to come out — as if discrimination is somehow the proper and expected response. Please gentlemen…I too am tired of the conversation, but its good folk like yourselves that could help that convo end by understanding (God forbid I should say accepting in your presence!) and helping others to do so more clearly and fully that which is really at the base of the struggle. Ignorance may be bliss, but it never leads to resolution.

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