PRIDE: Why coming out still matters (to me)

One of my favorite weekly blog posts is something I created more by accident than design – my Thursday morning Vintage Gay posts. I think of this weekly post as my way of keeping Pride alive through out the year.

I grew up in a small town with an even smaller world view. Combine that with the fact that 20+ years ago the Internet wasn’t really around and there were no gay characters on TV or at the movies unless they were mentally ill, depressed or dying of AIDS, and it isn’t that amazing that many LGBT youth like me grew up thinking there was something fundamentally wrong with them.

Fortunately, my impressions of what it meant to be gay changed forever and for the better when three things happened in the late 1990s: access to the Internet, moving to a progressive city with a sizable gay community and Hollywood realizing gay characters could be depicted as funny or happy people (thank you Will & Grace). These changes helped me realize I wasn’t alone or a genetic freak of nature and it is in that context and with that life experience that I created my weekly post “Vintage Gay”. These photos, which capture happy moments in people’s lives from the past, were hidden from view and rarely shared – at least not shared widely enough so a kid like me might see them and know that it really does get better, to paraphrase a great point that can never be stressed enough to gay youth struggling with their own sexual identity and desires to simply fit in.

Happy Pride

2 responses to “PRIDE: Why coming out still matters (to me)

  1. Well said, Rob. Your past reads just like mine. Same time, different place–as I expect it does for a good share of your readers. That’s why I like your Vintage Gay posts, too. Thanks for sharing each week.

    Like

  2. The mid to late 1970’s was a pivotal time. Much better in larger cities.

    Like

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