My, how far we've come.
Mike has come out on-air since, and I've come out to my friends and family too.
It's important for people close to you to know who you really are, and it's important for the cause of human rights to have our friends and family members as supporters, too.
Everyone knows someone gay, whether they know it or not.
And despite all the rumours, being gay does not automatically bring with it a wild lifestyle. Public displays of affection are probably more rampant in the hetero world, for instance. And I've never seen anything happen in a public bathroom, not even in the gayest of gay clubs. The most gay act I've seen in a bathroom is a bunch of sopping gays rushing straight to the mirror to fix their hair on a rainy night out (yes, I was one of them). The urinals and stalls were empty.
Sexuality is an orientation. Your orientation reflects your predominate preferences and desires (we'll leave true bisexuality -- and I do believe it really exists -- for another day).
Lifestyles -- slut, prude, outrageous, conservative, committed, happily single -- come in all orientations.
Gay Days Orlando this year, the "Florida Family Association" -- tagline, "Defending American Values" -- is again hiring planes to drag air warnings in and around the Disneyworld resort during Gay Days Orlando.
They are concerned that those icky gays in their red shirts are going to be leaving gay stains all over the Mad Teacups and the other rides at the park.
They are worried that untarnished traditional Christian children might witness happy same-sex couples holding hands with love in their hearts and living their lives without guilt or shame for who they love.
They are selfishly worried about more, but never mind all that, let's turn this back to us: they think we're all sinners and we are going to hell. And that's just mean.
I just left them the following message of support (follow the link to let them know your thoughts):
Most gay people are probably:
- cleaner than you
- more respectable than you
- and more importantly, nicer to people than you.
Gays gentrify neighbourhoods, increasing property values and community safety. Most GLBTs have learned to embrace everyone of all religions and personal preferences.
Can you say the same about yourselves ?
It's time. Learn to embrace all humans equally, and not just those in your own congregation.
You can't shame away the gay, all you can do is shame yourselves.
In my years on this Earth, I've been a witness to many different communities including "traditional family" and religions ones. I am proud to say that being a part of the gay community has taught me tolerance and acceptance like no other set of values I've seen before or since.
If joy, the quest for true love, and the lesson of acceptance is hell, then turn up the heat.