Just read an article about a high school principal in Washington DC coming out as a gay man during Pride Day. His exact words: "I'm a proud gay man who just happens to be principal of Wilson High School."
I've never quite gotten these declarations. What is it exactly that he's so proud of? That he finds men more attractive than women? That he likes to put his lips around other men's penises?
I'm sure Mr. Pete Cahall, a former wrestling coach, has much to be proud of, not least his successful career as an educator. But is one's taste in sexual partners really a reason for pride?
I'm not suggesting that heterosexuals should be proud of their sexuality, either. For instance, I'm not proud of the fact that I prefer slender women to fat women; it's just a matter of taste, something I have no control over. It's like preferring strawberry ice cream to mocha chip.
If I'd preferred fat women, I probably would have enjoyed a better sex life, since more of them are available. And if I'd preferred men to women I would have had a much better sex life. But, the choice wasn't mine.
I understand that the real message behind these types of statements is that one shouldn't have to be ashamed and live in a closet because of one's sexuality. That, I agree with. No one can help whom they're attracted to. But to say that one is proud of one's carnal desires is ridiculous; pride is an emotion that ought to be reserved for actual accomplishments.
Had Mr. Cahall been more specific in his coming out statement, its ridiculousness would have been more apparent:
"I'm proud of the fact that men give me a boner but women don't."
"I'm proud of the fact that I used to jerk off thinking about my high school wrestlers."
"I'm proud of the fact that breasts and vaginas don't do a thing for me."
"I'm proud of the fact that I prefer hairy asses to hairless ones."
"I'm proud of the fact that my behind is open for business."
This is, after all, what he is saying.
Maybe he shouldn't have to be ashamed of these things. But they don't really strike me as causes for pride.