Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm a Triple Minority!

How could I say such a thing as a white man in America? This is a little post about a small realization I just had. I'm gay. I'm an atheist (yeah, I'm finally going to own it). And I'm a non-sports fan! I'm a triple minority!

Big deal, you might say. And to the gay thing, I'd agree. The folks that have a problem with that are dying out, and it really isn't much of an issue in my day-to-day life. But that's just the thing.

Imagine your life as a pie chart. Most people have a "work life" wedge. Most have a "home life" wedge, and if you're lucky it is subdivided into "alone time" and "relationship" wedges. That wedge also includes "family obligations", if we still have parents, or adult children. But I'm missing two wedges: religion and sports fandom.

This is why people are wrong (even people I'm fond of, like Thom Hartmann) when they try to say that atheism is a religion in itself. No it's not. It is the absence of religon. There is no section of my life devoted to atheism, besides the odd post here on the blog, or arguments online or in real life. I don't spend time in deep thought about it, there is no list of commandments, no contemplation about "spirituality." It is simply deleted from my pie.

The same goes for sports. I can watch a game, and even enjoy it, as long as I know who I'm supposed to root for. But following sports? Having allegiences and rivalries, and "hated" teams? It literally makes zero sense to me. My brother has similar feelings, though far more militant (yes, he's a militant anti-sportsist). So that sports-fandom wedge is also absent from my pie.

Maybe that's why I simply can't figure out why coaches carry any allegiance from people. I'm from Ohio, and I couldn't understand the over-the-top love for Woody Hayes. I can't even name a subsequent coach. My sister--a diehard Buckeye, but also an atheist--probably just rolls her eyes at that one. But what can explain the people enraged by the firing of the Penn State coach, Joe Paterno (believe it or not, I had to just look up his name)? The sports wedge seems to be a whole lot like the religion wedge.

All of this is not a declaration that I'm better than you, or have life figured out. I just find it interesting that folks have entire dedicated parts of their life that I don't share. The human experience isn't the same for everybody. I just seem to find myself on the minority side of several of the experiences.

WAIT! I have no children! I'm a quadruple minority!!!

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