Every so often I veer off my retail beat and talk about something else this time our LGBTQ+ community.
I grew up in relatively traditional middle class suburban environment, racist and gay jokes were part of the norm. The "insult" that was always thrown around between teenage boys was faggot. Somewhere in my later teens when I would be called fag, I would thank people, it disarmed people. Here's the thing though despite all this negative surrounding I knew what was right. Myself I am straight male but even in my youth my thought process was the more guys that were gay they better shot I had with the ladies :) as simple math put odds in my favour, I didn't factor in what if all the women were lesbians though so my thought process had flaws.
I remember the first pride marches in the late 80's, I was in my late teens and I would hear adults and people around with me talk with distain and fear, combined with in appropriate AIDS talk, especially around the break room of the grocery store I worked for. From there I went to work for a library and when pride came around there was an open talk of support it was a complete 180 ideas and it was wonderful.
Time when on I got older when the topic came up I would try and sway ignorant ideas, the community got stronger and celebration of pride became stronger and stronger, and acceptance grew.
Which brings me to the point 25 years later and know a gay teen that didn't have to come out, he didn't have to announce to his friends or family, he doesn't have to live with any secret. He just is, and I can't really express how great I think that is. How great I know that is. So thank you to all of you who have been publicly proud and known who they were and weren't ashamed. I realize that things aren't perfect but oh it has come so far.