Isaiah Webster

Category: THE GAYS

Michael Sam was cut because he isn’t good enough to be in the NFL

SAM

Those who were surprised that the St. Louis Rams decided to waive Michael Sam are not football fans. Because those who follow the NFL carefully, weren’t surprised at all. The only occurrence this week that could be classified as a mild surprise is that the Rams decided to pass on adding Sam to its practice squad. (Sam was not claimed by any NFL team, and is now a free agent.)

Even though Michael Sam was an accomplished college player, he never struck me as a serious NFL talent. As a defensive end who plays exclusively in the 4-3 scheme, his options were already limited to the 15 NFL teams that deploy that defensive style. He’s undersized as a defensive end, but too big (and too slow) to be a linebacker. He also doesn’t play special teams well — which is vital for players such as Sam.

When Michael Sam was drafted in the 7th round this past May, many speculated that he would have been drafted higher had he not come out as gay. I disagree. In retrospect, I believe that Sam’s coming out helped his draft positioning. Being that be played his college ball at Missouri, it is no coincidence that St. Louis decided to give the state favorite a legitimate chance to make an NFL team. After enduring all the buzz and attention after drafting Sam, the team certainly would have given him every opportunity to make the team and cement history. The fact that the team would not even retain him for its practice squad tells you everything you need to know — he’s a good football player, but not good enough or versatile enough to play in the NFL.

Good college players strike out in the NFL all the time. Remember Tim Tebow?

I don’t believe that Michael Sam is out of the NFL because he is gay. If he were an outstanding player, he’d be on a team, because winning is everything. And if someone can help your team win, it doesn’t matter if they direct dog fights or beat their wives unconscious. Just ask Michael Vick and Ray Rice.

Michael Sam is still a pioneer having achieved something that no one else did before him — he was drafted as an openly gay man. That’s not nothing. In fact, that’s a huge achievement. The next Michael Sam will journey down a much easier path.

UPDATE 9/2/14: The Dallas Cowboys will sign Sam to its practice squad, pending his passing a physical.

Gay power couple draws national attention after play for Congressional seat in New York

Image

POLITICO has a fabulous, and juicy, profile of Sean Eldridge — the husband of Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes. Eldridge (pictured left) is running for Congress, and Hughes is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The New Republic. Eldridge is 27, and Hughes is 30; and with a net worth of more than $700 million, the couple is quite the gay power duo.

Apparently, Eldridge wants to buy his way into Congress. Having just moved into New York’s 19th Congressional District in 2013, he now wants to become its representative. He’s matching contributions dollar for dollar. He also actively avoids the press.

Two high-profile gay men making waves in the national press about a Congressional power grab? Yes ma’am, this is some good stuff!

New York’s 19th is an evenly divided district, and it’s currently represented by a liberal Republican named Chris Gibson, a war veteran of middle-class means. Can you see the vivid storyline developing here?

Though POLITCO took a somewhat adversarial approach to its profile, most of it comes off very matter-of-fact:

Both were making serious moves in Democratic politics. In 2009, Eldridge withdrew from Columbia Law School to join a gay marriage advocacy group. In 2012, Hughes bought The New Republic, where he currently is publisher and editor-in-chief.

Friends say the two are very different personalities. Eldridge is an extrovert and social animal, Hughes is more reserved. Hughes — who did not appear in Eldridge’s introductory campaign video — does not participate in day-to-day campaign conversations or strategy sessions, instead providing moral support to the candidate.

“If you see the two of them at an event, Chris is the unassuming one. Sean is the one who will get up and ask you, ‘How is your day?’” said a person who knows the couple well.

Chris-Hughes-Eldridge-AdvocateUp to this point, Eldridge and Hughes have been covered by mainly the gay press. The couple appeared on the cover of The Advocate as part of its “Forty under 40” series, which profiles influential gay people under the age of 40. POLITICO is the trendsetter among Washington’s echo chamber, so it will be interesting to see how many other national publications pick up on this story.

Rich people try to buy Congressional seats all the time, but it’s a new thing to see a young gay couple try it. It adds a completely new dimension to political gawking. Ultimately, the citizens of New York’s 19th Congressional District will decide if Eldridge is sufficient to be their Congressman. But in a broader sense, that’s the boring part. It will be far more entertaining to see how the media reacts to this young couple — and the precedents set for how powerful gay political couples are covered. This is going to be good.

Workplace discrimination against gays is still legal in 19 states, and somewhat legal in many others

Image

Image

Visit Lambda Legal for more information.

The death of Fred Phelps is worth celebrating

PHELPSFred Phelps is dead! He was 84. It wasn’t just that Phelps hated gay people, but he went out of his way to bother, antagonize and hurt gay people. He did the same thing to straight people who didn’t share his hate for gays. He and his church, Westboro Baptist, made a name for themselves by picketing the funerals of gay people, soldiers and almost anyone who was decent and good-spirited. They picketed the funeral of Matthew Shepherd, a man who was killed in a hate crime in Wyoming. Generally, but now always, their moniker of choice was “God Hates Fags.”

Today I’ve noticed that some gays are calling for restraint upon hearing the news of Phelps’ death. Their argument: We should strive to be better than him, and not use his death as an opportunity to be gleeful. It’s a modern day version of “turning the other cheek.”

I find it truly reassuring that there are people in this world who are more forgiving than I am. It gives me hope.

As for myself, I’m very happy to see that Fred Phelps is dead. To say that I’m gleeful would be an understatement; I’m over the moon! When evil leaves the world, I see this as cause for celebration. After all, we’re talking about a man who didn’t even have enough decency to allow his fellow man to rest in peace. I won’t be picketing his funeral, but I’m very glad he’s dead. I think I’ll celebrate with a stiff drink, and lots of butt sex!

Why do women-only restrooms exist in gay bars?

WEST HOLLYWOOD — I’m just finishing my short vacation in West Hollywood, and I’m slightly perplexed by various things that I’ll discuss in the coming days. But today I’ll rant about the one thing I truly don’t get — women-only restrooms in gay bars.

I should say upfront that I don’t believe women belong in gay bars at all. (I hinted to that fact in a post last year, which drew criticism from some of my female friends that read this blog.) But I will set aside that broader issue for today and focus on the restroom issue.

My friends and I were bar-hopping in WeHo on Saturday night and I was amazed at how many straight women were in the gay bars. In some cases, they were there with their girl pals, and in other cases, they were there with their boyfriends. It is a reasonable expectation to see gay women flocking to queer bars, but I should not have to endure straight people making out in a gay bar. That’s just fucking ridiculous.

After a few drinks, however, I was willing to overlook the fact that straight people were in every direction I turned. The unforgivable sin occurred when I finally needed to take a piss.

As I approached the restroom area, I saw the long line of men waiting their turn — this is not unusual in a busy bar. Once I got close enough, I could see two restroom doors — one labeled “men” and the other labeled “women.” Again, there is nothing unusual about that either. Most gay bars have a restroom labeled “women.” But here’s the catch — only women could use the “women” restroom in this WeHo bar. I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous in my life.

As my hand stretched out to open the door to the women’s restroom, a male bathroom attendant stopped me and told me that it was reserved for women.

Why would you reserve an entire restroom for a group of people that make up less than 10% of your clientele? And moreover, since when have gay bars decided to justify strictly binary gender classifications by having a women-only restroom?

It is our culture that gay men can use any restroom in a gay bar. If the women don’t like that, perhaps they should go to a restroom in a straight bar. One would assume that if straight women love gay bars so much, then they must also love our culture, which dictates no gender-specific toilets.

I won’t even jump into the question of which restroom would the drag queens be required to use in this silly bar.

Part of the reason I was so bothered by this restroom foolishness is because it seems that gay bars are becoming indistinguishable from straight ones. If I have to watch straight people make out and piss in a restroom for men only — I may as well just go to a fucking straight bar!

The allure of a true queer bar is that none of the conventional bullshit exists. Our entire society should promote gender-neutral restrooms. And a gay bar should absolutely understand why such a simple concept is so profound.

The only way for gay bars to exist is to stop acting like straight bars. If straight bars were so much fun, the women wouldn’t be all in my way while I’m trying to get a drink at the neighborhood queer dive.