My thought on this is that it shouldn't be news because it SHOULDN'T HAVE TO BE.
I have been told that my opinion is idealistic and that I should be more realistic about how our society really works with the implication that by seeing this in the news and thus celebrating it, it makes it easier for other people. It makes it easier for society to cope with it. It makes things easier. They tell me that for LGBT this is quite a step forward because every single person makes a difference and it helps other people. They tell me that it is helping to change the way society sees people because certain professions are 'innately homophobic' so someone coming out in that profession is a good thing.
I pondered this term and wondered how they came up with it. How is it that professions can be innately homophobic? No child is born with innate knowledge to hate; it is learnt. They have been taught by people who do not understand. They learn to see people differently because they have been taught to.
So what is it that has made you see people differently?
Is it someone telling you they're gay?
Is it someone telling you they're straight?
Is is someone telling you they've just lost a parent?
Is it someone telling you they've been struggling with eating disorders?
Is is someone telling you they've got a mental illness?
Is it someone telling you they were raped?
Is it someone telling you they were the rapist?
In reality it doesn't matter what it was, what matters is what you do once you know. Do you judge them? Do you shun them? Do you laugh at them? Do you thank them? Do you treat them exactly the same?
It surprised me to see people talking about how long it would take for society to accept that some sports people are gay when what they really should have been focusing on wasn't the profession but just the statement 'I wonder how long it will take for society to accept that some people are gay.'
Lots of people tell me that it's society that has to change. They expect the world to suddenly change overnight so it becomes accepting of other peoples differences. Yet, society is made up of individuals. You, me, the guy from down the street, the lady you see in the supermarket, the small child you just gave the ball back to. All of us have a voice. All of us have an opinion. All of us can choose to use our voice and our opinion to do something good. None of us have to wait for someone else to do it first.
You have a voice and you can choose. What is it that has made you see people differently?
I was seen differently when I told people that I had been sexually assaulted. To this day I don't know how it wasn't rape, it was so close to being it. There are, were, still a lot of people who didn't know and that was my choice. It was my issue that I was dealing with. Am dealing with. I've seen so many things lately about cases from the Seventies and wonder how the people involved were able to keep quiet but then come forward 40 years later to talk about it. It never goes away. It gets easier, yes, but it never goes away. This year, for the first year, I didn't remember. That sounds like a strange thing to say but let me explain. Usually, around the anniversary of the incident, I get particularly distressed or nervous and can find it difficult to sit and listen to things that are vaguely similar or have elements of similarity to them. This was the first time it passed me by without that.
I've changed a lot in my life in many ways. I've had a decent amount of therapy and I'm getting things back on track (or, if you didn't know, I've been hiding it pretty well overall). One thing that will never leave me though is the fact that I wasn't believed. I had to prove to others that this had actually happened to me. The company in question didn't believe me even after I'd had two lots of police in the house and had identified the assailant. They allowed him to keep working and even sent me gifts to 'soften the blow'. I ended up going to court as a witness and the victim to prove that I hadn't been making it up.
Yet, I am still the same person. Yes, something happened to me but I am still the same person.
All those people I mentioned above are still the same people. You may see them differently but they are still the same people. The only one I would say any different about is the rapist but, as you can expect, I have my own views on this and I don't wish to air them here or now for a number of reasons.
Have a look at the people in your life. How do you see them? Think about how you'd see them if they admitted anything to you. Would you see them differently? Would you treat them differently?
Be the change you wish to see in the world.