Sometimes I think that we gay people forget how long it took some of us, if not the majority of us, to accept our own sexuality. Why is it that we expect our family, friends and the entire country to immediately accept it just because we have?
My brother-in-law's family of origin is two gay men -- my husband and I -- or at least that's how he portrayed us at his wedding. We were the only people asked to stand and represent him by reading verse before the hundred or so guests. It struck me that change had arrived.
About a 3 or 4 million years ago, two young cavemen, Ook and Zowie, fell in love. They hid their love from the rest of their clan by secretly going off to the far, dark corners of the cave to kiss and cuddle.
With politicians there is a lot talk of "acceptance" and "tolerance" when it comes to homosexuality. I accept the fact that I have to pay taxes. I tolerate the fact that I have to go to the dentist. Why should either of those words apply to how a parent feels about their child?
Over the holiday break I spent time with friends, family and other loved ones who have supported and loved me without reservation over the years. However, three separate encounters led me to question what I had come to know about support as opposed to true understanding.
Let's be real: Joel and Ethan's pizza story is heartwarming precisely because it is an exception to what usually happens. And though people's attitudes toward gays are slowly softening, go a few miles outside a city center and you get much less friendly treatment.
How will non-gay America learn about our country's gay community? Why not simply have, or at least consider having, a good conversation with a gay person? My enlightenment came at the end of my 17th summer.
If we want to make the world a more tolerant place, gays do need to be more visible, and not just in the Castro. There is enough room to challenge people's attitudes without breaking the law or ending up as a censored YouTube clip. A sweet kiss is enough.
Today you'll see in any bar, gay or straight, young people of every sexual persuasion being themselves with friends who may or may not share their orientation. I can't help but wonder if we've lost something, namely the joy of walking into a gay bar as the member of an exclusive club.
Designations like "gay" and "straight" are so useless. They're so toxic. They do nothing but harm. They limit people in crucial, terrible ways that cut to the very heart of the best of who all of us are, or could be.
While Brian Moylan's "The Secrets Gay Men Don't Want Straight People to Know" is obviously meant as a comical piece, it felt more like a sad reconfirmation of how the media sees gay people relative to straight people, and how gay people are perceived in general.
I am straight, and though everyone gets made fun of for something, I never faced the relentless teasing, bullying and violence that gay and lesbian kids did and do. In fact, I was a bigot. But I got better.