National Basketball Association's (NBA) giant and superstar Shaquille O'Neal has created an inordinate amount of controversy over a post to FaceBook (FB) on men's room etiquette this weekend. Shaq, as he is also known, shared the graphic below on his social media site in humor and jest. Under it, he entered: "This is an automatic fight in my book...LMFAO!"
It seems that this innocent attempt at entertaining his friends has caused a division not only among FB users but the general public as well. Some are claiming it as proof positive that the NBA legend is gay because how else would he know about this obvious slam against a mainstream myth of queers. Others are charging that he's homophobic due to perpetuating this stereotype of all gay men and the subtle hint of gay-bashing.
As a same gender loving man, I actually found the cartoon amusing. What's more, I wasn't offended in the least. It's funny. I think if we all take a minute and consider the situation, most will realize it's also true. The vast majority of men, when approaching the urinals in a public restroom, choose one that does not have an adjoining occupant. If you don't believe me, go to a restroom and select the one directly beside another man (unless it's the only one available).
Shaquille O'Neal is not one to engage in blatant offensive behavior. He's never publicly offered intolerant or insensitive words or deeds. When former NBA player John Amaechi announced that he's gay in 2007, O'Neal was supportive and respectful in both private and public.
There are far more pressing repressive and restrictive issues facing our queer community than this image. There are those in our own communities and neighborhoods who are hateful and worse. There are some evil demons who extol their faith communities to discriminate and despise. Let's focus on them and not someone who's been a friend.