As far as violence against gays, while it is still sadly far-too-prevalent, it is nowhere near the epidemic the media suggests. Approximately 1,300 hate crimes based on "sexual orientation bias" were reported by the FBI in 2011.
There are approximately 9 million gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the United States, according to a UCLA study. That would mean that about one of every 7,100 LGBT people in the United States became a hate crime victim in 2011. That same year, there were some 935 Jewish victims of hate crimes according to the FBI. There are approximately 5.5 million Jews in the United States. That means that one out of every 5,900 Jews became a hate crime victim in 2011. Yet no one suggests that America remains a massively anti-Semitic country, requiring massive media coverage every time a Jewish person reaches a position of power or influence.
Jason Collins has every right to announce his sexual orientation. If announcing it makes him a happier person, more power to him. But the media's overwrought coverage of Collins demonstrates their deeply dangerous view that America is a disgusting place filled with budding Aaron McKinneys and Russell Hendersons looking for their Matthew Shepards to murder. The media's treatment of Collins as a full-fledged hero assumes that America is filled with full-fledged villains. It is not -- and the media coverage of Collins shows that. The media coverage also does young gays and lesbians a massive disservice. There is no surer way to keep young gays and lesbians living in fear than tacitly telling them that those who surround them despise them.