I live in an area that is a little less than cosmopolitan. Don’t mistake this, I like where I live, but trends that hit the coast in a bi-costal rage, are usually slow to arrive in Springfield, IL. There’s Chicago 200 miles to the north and Indianapolis 200 miles to the east if you want to feel a little more urban. Along with those trends, we also have some mindsets here in the middle of the country that have not yet caught up with our more urban brethren.
Not so long ago, I was part of a conversation, where someone stated that they wished we could “go back” to the way things used be. While I am not sure of the exact time for which the speaker was making reference to; some where late in the last century, so let’s say 1985. The reason stated for wanting to “go back” was because things were better then. Another person spoke up and said something to the effect that things may have been better for you, but you think that would be better for everyone? The speaker continued and said do you think that gay people would agree that things were better back then? The original speaker fumbled and hummed and hawed around with no response.
This got me to ponder, has life has gotten better for gay folks? Honestly I think so. The change is largely thanks to our more enlighten young folks millennials and gen Z and younger. By and large, they don’t care about anyone’s sexual orientation. They have taught some of us older folks that it’s ok to like, to friend and to hire gay people. There is no longer the stigma that being gay was not ok. But then wait; right in my own back yard, 30 mile to the east this occurs (link to Decatur Hearld article inserted below).CBS News. I thought we were past this, but obviously I am wrong. What is wrong with people like Mr. Dickerson? How do we keep from hiring people like him? How can society function when we have people who think this is ok? We so normalized behavior like this, it just doesn't seem shocking anymore.