In an act of unadulterated joy, Michael Sam and his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, shared a kiss that has since eclipsed the actual reason for their celebration: The NFL’s St. Louis Rams drafting Sam, effectively making him the league’s first openly gay player.
Reaction to the kiss can be summed up in three words: shock, awe, and, for some, dismay. That it took an unsigned college football player, a few basketball players (NBA’s Jason Collins and WNBA’s Brittney Griner), and a kiss to show that there are black LGBTs who falsify existing stereotypes of the effeminate gay and the masculine lesbian athlete should be the true shock.
The reason for all the hubbub is that Michael Sam's athletic success, his sport of choice, and his kiss shatter common assumptions about LGBT Americans.
In my research on the lived experiences of urban black gay and lesbian Americans, I have found this point especially key. While many black gay men identify strongly with a racial identity over their sexual orientation, others, like Sam, resist this hierarchy.
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