He Didn’t “Announce.” He Didn’t “Come Out.” He Simply Confirmed.

In dog bites man, sensation, significant insignificancies on November 5, 2013 at 3:40 am

It’s still big news when another state begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but it’s happening often enough, and enough of us know enough gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people well enough that it’s hardly shocking to learn of another individual.  There aren’t even very many firsts left in this category. The press doesn’t seem to know, though.

The first verb I heard headlining the story of Maine Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud was “announced”; it may even have been a noun form modified by “big.” By the time I saw it in print, it was definitely the verb, and in an Associated Press story. As I watched for it among my fairly numerous GLBT and ally friends on Facebook, it popped up in a Raw Story headline, actually a little toned down at “comes out.” Fortunately, though, that story contained a link to Rep. Michaud’s own words. In an Op-Ed in the Bangor Daily News, right where it belongs, he says simply “Yes, I am. But why should it matter?”

Indeed. His whole point was to lay to rest a “whisper campaign” that implied it might ruin his political career. Clearly he didn’t think so, and neither did the editors of the paper, who posted an accompanying editorial subtitled “Welcome this truth and move on.” This is good news for supporters of marriage equality and civil rights that don’t depend on secrets. And every simple confirmation, every non-news story makes it that much better for the teens and others who may still feel vulnerable to being “outed.”

The folks who don’t get it yet are the writers of the sensational headlines. They need to be trained that it’s now what they know as a ‘Dog bites man’ story: no news at all, important only to the people directly involved, and not to their employers, or voters, or sports fans. Hallelujuah. Yawn.


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