Good post CF...

FWIW, you've described the inner conflicts most of us have experienced. LOL...good news. You're normal! No, really!

Stonewall happened just as I was a teenager dealing with exactly these issues...among them a group of Jesus freaks who repeatedly tried to convince me I was the freak. One of 'em today is a homophobic intellectual at a major university, continuing to publish and pass judgment from his ivory tower. Well, live and let live. Whatever blows your skirt up.

And you'll see in some of my posts that my perp was deeply involved and respected staff with a church camp - go figure. Straight, married, kids...and a pedo to whom the church turned a blind eye.

I'm amazed that in my lifetime the GLBT community has progressed from being regularly harassed and beaten (legally) by NYC police to being able to marry, serve as bishops and serve in the U.S. military. Simultaneously, the religions which vilified me have become increasingly irrelevant as their dirty laundry has emerged for all to see (the reason many of us ended up here, right?).

For me, my approach has been to take care of my little part of the world. When threatened - it's happened plenty - I've been right back in the homophobe's face. They back off pretty consistently. Have a million stories about that. Others' talents are elsewhere.

Almost forgot to mention you can actually have a life, too! For example, we've had a GLBT athletic group here for a quarter century...baseball, running, yoga, aerobics, etc. And you don't have to be butch...lol...some of 'em have been the biggest screamers I've ever met. But we've had fun and fellowship, which was particularly important in that time when a lot of us were going to yet another funeral every month or more often.

So, yeah, it's still frustrating sometimes. But it's better. Wow, if I could be around to see the next 40 years. Find your talent in GLBT rights or just the community - it may be trial and error - but believe me, every little bit makes a difference for someone.