On Monday, former Washington Wizards center Jason Collins revealed to the world that he is gay, prompting a complete media meltdown. Collins appeared on Good Morning America; he made the cover of Sports Illustrated; he became the lead on Huffington Post. The president of the United States congratulated him at a press conference, and the former president of the United States congratulated him via Twitter. So did the first lady, the commissioner of the National Basketball Association and a bevy of pundits and athletes across the spectrum.
Which leaves one question: What’s the big deal?
Tennis star Martina Navratilova, the best player of her era, came out in 1981. Ellen Degeneres came out on national television in 1997. The president and CEO of the Golden State Warriors, Rick Welts, is openly gay. Top politicians, rock stars, athletes, movie and television stars and business moguls are gay. Gay Americans have been announcing their sexual orientation for decades. Why the hubbub?