On April 29, Jason Collins, a professional basketball player who most recently played for the Washington Wizards, became the first player in a major American team sport to come out as gay. In the cover story for the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated, Collins said: "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay."
Needless to say, it dominated the news and social media that Monday, and while there were no doubt people who disapproved, many reactions were positive. From Kobe Bryant to NBA Commisioner David Stern to President Obama, the amount of praise Collins received was heartening to LGBT people and allies who viewed the uber-masculine world of professional sports as a tall hurdle to overcome in the gay rights movements.
But a funny thing happened after Collins came out--or rather didn't happen: The story went away. Sure, people are still talking about it, and the discussion will continue once more people read the Sports Illustrated article, but as The Daily Show's Jason Jones joked, "I guess I thought when this day came, it wouldn't be so boring." And that right there--it's "boring" factor--was perhaps the biggest factor of this news story: It wasn't that big of a deal. It blew up Twitter, people started talking and then we moved on to the economy, Syria and the Boston bombings.
If we're losing you with all this sports talk, let's put it in terms more up AP's alley: In our May issue (Paramore), we featured an article on the Summer Set, and in it drummer Jess Bowen publicly admitted she was gay. Her family and friends (plus anyone who follows her Instagram) already knew, but she had never announced it in a public forum--until now. And you know what happened? Nothing. We didn't see a peep about it online. It's almost as if a person's sexuality becomes a non-issue once they make it public.
Were these select cases or has there been a change in the public's perception of the LGBT community? The scene AP covers has always been pretty accepting, but are we seeing an even bigger ideology shift?
Does a musician's sexuality matter?
It's the latest AP Poll, and we want to know what you think. Who knows--you could end up in a future issue of AP.