What A Great Day To Be Alive!

Kiss

BY DAVID MIXNER

There are days I wonder why I even got out of bed. The papers are filled with horror and my work seems dreary. Even the weather is dark and stormy. All I want to do is crawl back in bed and hope the world comes to its senses and that my life will find new purpose.

Saturday, May 10 was not one of those days.

LGBT Americans woke up on Saturday morning to the news that marriage equality had come to the Bible belt state of Arkansas. Who would ever have imagined just two years ago that LGBT couples would be lined up at the county clerk offices in The Natural State to obtain marriage licenses. After all, the latest polls showed that only a mere 27% of the state's citizens support marriage equality. That is one of the lowest levels in the country.

ES2However, the pictures being sent out by Razorback fans were proof that it indeed was happening.

Yes, it is possible there will soon be another one of those impedimental 'stays' from the courts but as of this moment there are same-sex couples married in Arkansas!

This news alone would have made it worthwhile for me to get out of bed. But wait, there was more!

By the afternoon, the news swept social media that a gender bending contestant had won Eurovision! Conchita Wurst, a bearded drag queen representing Austria, took the annual competition by storm. How wonderful in this day and age of President Putin and his punks to have the gender-bending Conchita chosen as the winner. Not only is Conchita a great symbol but an amazing singer who deserved the honor.

Finally, the day had one more gift in store. Although this one kept many of us on pins and needles until nearly sundown.

All-American University of Missouri football player Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams. While this made history for the National Football League with Sam becoming its first openly gay player, it wasn't without its stressful moments. Sam was expected to be selected in the fifth round at the latest. But in the end he was picked next to last in the seventh round! There is no question that this late selection was just not right. Small schools such as Marist College had their players selected before Sam. Come on! Sam was a star in player in on the Southeastern Conference (SEC), one of the toughest leagues in college football, and was named SEC 'Defensive Player of the Year'. As I was sitting through selection after selection I became increasingly convinced that Sam wasn't going to be one of them.

Then, better late than never, history exploded once again on our television screens with the announcement that the Rams had selected him. Interestingly, it was the Rams franchise (when they were in Los Angeles) which picked the first African-American player in 1947 to play in the NFL.

The Rams clearly love history.

Following his belated selection I let out a yell when he kissed his boyfriend Vito Cammisano (see above) in a nationally televised moment! Vito is himself a championship swimmer at the University of Missouri!  It just doesn't get any better than that!

As I went to bed last night, I was sure glad to be alive and felt totally blessed to have been allowed to witness such an historic day. No doubt many of you felt the same.

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Comments

  1. I agree 100%, David, it was a great day!

    Posted by: Joe | May 11, 2014 1:32:09 PM


  2. YES!

    And never get discouraged David, you are a light we all need. Keep the flame high.

    Posted by: UFFDA | May 11, 2014 1:40:50 PM


  3. Marriage in Arkansas - Great!

    Michael Sam - Good, but not great. Good that he was picked, but bad that he was picked at the very end of the draft. He should have been picked much earlier and clearly was discriminated against. He will earn much less money as a 7th round pick than he would have earned as a 3rd round pick.

    "Conchita Wurst" - Not good at all. How is this even a gay story? Why is David Mixner equating gay people with bearded men in dresses? Why is David Mixner promoting stereotypes?

    Posted by: David Markham | May 11, 2014 1:41:51 PM


  4. DAVID MARKHAM, he will be fine with endorsements-he already has a few...but yeah, it was always going to be discriminating.

    Posted by: Rowan | May 11, 2014 1:49:00 PM


  5. @David Markham: You don't have to like the fact that Conchita Wurst won Eurovision (though many Towleroad readers and gay people in general are loving it and the big FU it sends to Russia) but you can't say (with a straight face, so to speak) that a Eurovision (!!!!!) performer who self-identifies as belonging to the gay community isn't a gay story just because not all gay people meet your approval. It's a gay story, sorry.

    Like David Mixner, many of us are happy to celebrate each of these firsts, along with how different they are from one another.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 11, 2014 1:52:21 PM


  6. It was clearly a watershed moment for LGTB inclusion in major pro sports when Michael Sam was selected in the NFL draft yesterday. But, to be clear, it was never a foregone conclusion that his abilities would or should result in his selection, excluding consideration of his sexual orientation.

    Why not? Because Michael's performance at the all-important NFL Combine had been disappointing; he's too small to play at his college position (defensive end) in the pros, but not quick enough to fit in as a linebacker (the other realistic alternative). He'll most likely end up on "special teams", whose players are usually less impactful.

    Most "insider" observers had expected him to be picked in the final round or two, IF at all. Their projections indicated only a 50% chance that he'd be drafted. Even if he hadn't been selected, it was clear he would have been offered a contract and given an opportunity to try out (without as much upfront cash).

    In the end, Michael was chosen by a team filled with talented players at both full-time defensive positions where he might fit in, making it even more likely that he'll be slotted for special teams.

    Finally, the "love affair" UMissouri fans have for Michael Sams will likely help the St Louis Rams boost gate attendance, providing an economic argument for his draft selection, even as his talent and value to the team are yet to be determined.

    Posted by: Mike | May 11, 2014 1:52:46 PM


  7. David, I am your age and also glad to have lived to see it, and I am especially glad that YOU lived to see it - remembering that it might well have not been the case considering your recent challenges. It must not go unmentioned that the events yesterday could not have happened without your hard work along with the work of many others. I thank you.

    Posted by: Jacques | May 11, 2014 2:14:32 PM


  8. Thank you for being alive David Mixner - we need you.

    Posted by: dwarka | May 11, 2014 2:27:48 PM


  9. Long live Conchita Wurst.

    Posted by: Dan Antimony | May 11, 2014 2:32:00 PM


  10. Beautiful gif!

    It was a good day, wasn't it?

    Blessings upon you, DM.

    Posted by: Glenn I | May 11, 2014 2:44:43 PM


  11. Not sure where you heard Sam was going to go in the fifth round as the latest. Based on his skill size and utility to NFL teams, seventh round or not at all would have been perfectly appropriate picks. If he hadnt come out, no one would have found it remarkable that he didnt get picked at all.
    tlThe fact that people from smaller schools got picked before him is meaningless. NFL teams draft people to fill needs on their team, not because someone did well. Sam is an awkward size for fhe pros.

    Posted by: stop | May 11, 2014 3:02:31 PM


  12. Most of the negative comments against Michael Sam are actually coming from effeminate white gays....why?...

    Posted by: styler | May 11, 2014 3:17:45 PM


  13. It is a great day, but don't let on that butt sex still hurts. Be inspired by Michael Sam's man! He has some new props to add to the excitement.

    Posted by: Arrow | May 11, 2014 3:38:42 PM


  14. Styler.. they are bitching cuz they're envious of his boyfriend. Oh, and he cried. Effeminate gay men tend to get bitchy when gays guys aren't "strong" like "real men".

    Posted by: steve talbert | May 11, 2014 4:03:55 PM


  15. Michael Sam projected to sign a 4 year $2.295M contract with the #Rams, $45,896 to sign.

    Posted by: Joe | May 11, 2014 4:19:22 PM


  16. Ernie:

    Where did "Conchita" ever identify as gay? I haven't seen it. I think we are making that connection and we are doing it based on a foul, anti-gay stereotype. And even if he is gay, why was it necessary for him to wear a beard and a dress? He is just going for shock and we shouldn't mindlessly support him for that.


    Mike/Stop:

    You need to consider where Michael Sam was in the draft rankings in February compared to now. You can't just look at the predictions immediately prior to the draft. In Feb., he was ranked at 90. His number 90 rank already factored in his performance abilities and limitations.

    Then he came out and the major trackers dropped him overnight an incredible 90 slots to put him at about 180. Nothing else happened to warrant this drop. There's your discrimination in bold.

    After that, it is true that he had a bad Combine performance. That dropped him to 220. I don't have enough expertise to say whether that drop was entirely based in merit or whether there was still more discrimination involved. And in the end, he inexplicably dropped another 29 slots, to be picked at number 249.

    Bottom line: The same player who was at 90 when he was thought to be straight was picked at 249 after coming out. There's definitely a bad side to the Michael Sam draft story and I don't think we should sweep it under the rug.

    Posted by: David Markham | May 11, 2014 5:07:30 PM


  17. Let's hope it's not the kiss that launched a thousand bashings.

    Posted by: Arrow | May 11, 2014 5:34:17 PM


  18. It doesn't matter if Conchita ids as as gay or not. Conchita is part of the wider struggle for acceptance of everyone and I do mean everyone. Not just those acceptable to some. Stop marring our progress with ugliness.

    Posted by: Factoid | May 11, 2014 6:45:51 PM


  19. @David: Conchita has literally said, "I am part of the gay community."

    You're free to disapprove or be perplexed by the gender-bending but you can't un-gay news that makes you uncomfortable. Many people, including many gay people and David Mixner, whose post this is, supported the performance--it won, after all--but no one is going to force you to.

    Just stop the ludicrous nonsense that it's not news that belongs on a gay website.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 11, 2014 6:49:31 PM


  20. "There is no question that this late selection was just not right."

    I think they intentionally put it near the end, like any good television show, so people would keep tuned in, and so other players would get their few minutes of celebration, without being too overshadowed by history being made by someone else.

    Posted by: Randy | May 11, 2014 7:46:10 PM


  21. @David Markham,

    Whether you like it or not, Conchita Wurst is a part of the gay community. Drag queens are a part of the gay community. Conchita has major balls for putting himself out there in front of millions of others in a dress and a beard to challenge gender stereotypes. Gay people are often at the forefront of challenging gender norms and not simply assimilating. Too bad for you if you get all bent out of shape for the existence of effeminate gays and drag queens.

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | May 11, 2014 10:48:17 PM


  22. It's not a "foul stereotype" that genderqueer and nonbinary people fall into the LGBT spectrum even if Conchita WASN'T gay. As a gay white dude, the LGBT community is not all gay white dudes and a lot of gay white dudes need to build a bridge.

    Posted by: Dx | May 12, 2014 8:41:05 AM


  23. It's not a "foul stereotype" that genderqueer and nonbinary people fall into the LGBT spectrum even if Conchita WASN'T gay. As a gay white dude, the LGBT community is not all gay white dudes and a lot of gay white dudes need to build a bridge.

    Posted by: Dx | May 12, 2014 8:41:06 AM


  24. @DavidMarkham
    He sucked at the Combine. It's not because he got gay.

    Posted by: Stop | May 12, 2014 9:46:47 AM


  25. DX, gay is not a spectrum. We are complete and whole and do not need genderqueers to complete us. I couldn't care less about genderqueers and have nothing more in common with them than I do with any other psychotics.

    Also, i don't know why you are talking about race and about white people. Conchita Wurst is white, so if you have a problem with whites, I guess you have a problem with him/her. Check your racism.

    Posted by: Tyler | May 12, 2014 1:38:13 PM


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