Locker rooms’ loo-HOO-ser ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ code

JasonCollinsIt’s not shocking NBA free agent Jason Collins is the first active athlete in U.S. sports’ Big Four (basketball, football, baseball, hockey) to come out as gay. What’s shocking is that it has taken so long for such a “first.”

Apparently there is some unwritten “don’t ask don’t tell” policy in men’s locker rooms. Why else would this even make news today?

Seems to me that women are less hung up over the idea of sharing showers with potential lesbians. I guess we innately understand that gay people are no more or less predatory than any other people.

On the modesty vs. exhibitionism spectrum, everyone is unique. No generalizations can be made based on sexual orientation whether we are more or less comfortable being ogled or ogling others in a dressing-room situation. And no doubt we ALL look. It’s human to admire the human form. I’m thinking that athletes, though, of all people, are far more accustomed to group nudity and should be more comfortable with it than the average person, given their well-toned physiques — maybe even proud of their nakedness or a bit obsessed. I would expect they even strut. Not to mention, they’re strong and could certainly handle any unwanted advances, if any ever were made.

So why would this institution, of all institutions, be so stupidly prejudicial against someone who might admire them in a slightly different, more responsive or even effusive way?

And I say might, because it probably doesn’t happen often. In any professional arena, whether medicine, theater or sports, a professional knows how to erect that fourth wall and tamp down any inappropriate responses or behavior, no matter how the brain’s arousal radar behaves. Think gynecology, ladies. Do we have qualms about the sexual orientation of our OB-GYN, or what his/her intentions or ulterior motives are? Such issues rarely come into play. Even a professional sex worker is but acting.

Why would a professional athlete cross the line of propriety? They are the most physically disciplined of us all.

So it’s about time this ridiculous wall of prejudice — or whatever is causing the heebie-jeebies among these big-baby male athletes — comes crumbling down.

Bravo, Jason Collins, bravo. Now the question is: Which NBA team shall proudly scoop him up?