Sick and Tired of J. Bryan Lowderism

J. Bryan Lowder is Slate Magazine’s editorial assistant for culture. And he’s keenly disappointed with the way Jason Collins came out as a gay professional basketball player.

J. Bryan Lowderism is a condition that affects liberals who can’t contain their displeasure that others aren’t nearly liberal enough for them. JBL seems to be multiplying and I’m sick of it. Instead of displaying some compassion and encouraging growth of all kinds, they demand perfect political correctness of which they’re the arbitrators. Without realizing it, they’re slowing the progress they seek.

This phenomenon was on full display when Senator Rob Portman changed his mind about gay marriage after learning his son was gay. Portman was ripped by JBLs for needing the personal connection and taking far too long to support marriage equality. Never mind that he had had a personal transformation, it wasn’t quick or comprehensive enough. Someone get the tar and feathers.

J. Bryan Lowder is unhappy with how long Collins stayed in the closet. And that Collins hasn’t criticized the “sports-masculinity complex” as a kind of preemptive strike against homophobia. And he takes Collins to task for not identifying nearly strongly enough with other gays. Give me a (profanity of your choice) break. Newsflash: He’s the first active, male professional athlete in a major sport in the United States to acknowledge he’s gay. Point out society’s and basketball’s ills tomorrow. Today, just thank the brother for making history.

JBL wraps up this way:

The majority of this stuff reads as posturing for an audience that is voraciously needy for assurance that gay athletes won’t queen-up the game. Or perhaps, as Benoit Denizet-Lewis writes today, it’s about challenging those who think you can’t be black and gay without betraying your race. I don’t know. What’s clear, though, is that while Collins may be out of the closet, he’s just entered into an arena that is only slightly less stifling. Maybe his presence there will change it. But as long as the price-of-admission is anti-femme, hand-holding apologetics, I’m not hopeful.

To the self-appointed arbitrators of liberal politics, progress is the result of people of different politics and life experiences taking two steps forward and one back. Over and over. For years. Collins took 94 steps forward Monday (the length of a basketball court). A tremendously bold move that anyone committed to the dignity of homosexuals should cheer. Unequivocally.

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