What a great topic 1life.
What I'll add from the perspective of observer is that in the course of my lifetime I've been lucky enough to have seen the whole issue turned on its ear. People like me were reviled, shunned and beaten by law enforcement in an era dominated by the likes of – heavens – J. Edgar Hoover. Today we serve openly and proudly in the U.S. military, give Americans their news, get married, have kids, etc.
Not to say we've arrived, as such. Like our personal journeys, it's a process.
I mourn and honor the likes of Matthew Shepard
who have been forced to sacrifice their very lives for what they are. By comparison, those who choose to continue to hide today, imo and it may not be popular, are dishonoring the memory of those souls.
For that perspective, it explains why I'm sometimes impatient, even on these boards, with those who are scared to be exactly who they are. And, to be honest, I still enjoy a good laff when yet another homo-hating politician or pastor gets caught with his pants down.
I'm quite satisfied being exactly who I am. Damn, it's been good for me. Self-confidence hasn't come easily, but isn't it a nice turn to see others squirm because they're uncomfortable being around a "fag"? Says more about their issues than mine.
On the family front, I had to make some decisions. The adoptive mommybitch and third hubby were continually concerned about what their country club cadre would say "if they found out." And I was hit with phrases from her like, "How could you do this to ME!" As many of us have no doubt read at one time, I should have told them I had inoperable brain cancer and then said, "Just kidding. I'm gay." As I examined their reactions, it became clear these were self-absorbed, superficial people who would never get it. It started to explain the rest of the abuse, right up to essentially delivering me to my high school counselor sexual abuser. I walked away and have a life that hasn't involved dancing around their warped sense of ethics.
Short version, I jettisoned the unnecessary stress and, frankly, get some satisfaction that they've stewed in their own prejudices. I put the "problem" right back in their laps where it belongs.