Last summer, I was asked to take part in the Open Mic at Blue Hill’s first ever Pridefest. My remarks touched on a Disney Channel program. Below are those remarks from June, followed by an update:
A revolution happened last night, captured in the three words “Cyrus looked back,” but you probably didn’t notice.
But the story, at least for me, starts decades ago.
Born in 1963, I grew up with no positive gay images. Looking back, I realize that there were gay and lesbian people all around me in my childhood, teachers, neighbors. I mean, those two housemates across the street were not just housemates.
The only use of the word gay I ever heard was on the sitcom “Soap,” where Billy Crystal’s character was strenuously not gay because the man he loved was transgender, though pre-operative.
By the time I got out of the Army in the mid-1980’s, I had the language I needed, and a pretty clear understanding of what would happen if people knew you were gay, as I watched more than a dozen members of my unit face prosecution and discharge. Nonetheless, I came out shortly after I returned to college. Continue reading →