Yesterday I had the occasion to visit a prominent and sizeable Gay and Lesbian community center in, of all places, Hollywood.
I was there on actual business. I'm on the board of a charity that contributes to legal causes, and was interviewing someone in their legal services department about their grant application.
I really had no reason to be nervous.
So I went, I interviewed the guy, asked questions, got answers, and left. I was not propositioned. No one stared at me walking in or walking out. The parking lot attendant next door did not sneer. I was not bashed. No one hurled epithets at me about me being straight or about them assuming I was gay. I didn't look much like the people there, but that didn't seem to matter. Even my co-workers couldn't work up any enthusiasm about ribbing me.
I was worried that I would feel strange, or nervous, or self-conscious, or out of place. It never happened. It's not that I went around with the cloak of progressivism wrapped firmly around me. It's just that it felt like a non-issue.
The guy I interviewed, the director of legal services at what is probably the best and best funded gay and lesbian community center in the nation, told me something ironic. He said that once he could count on all their job and internship applicants being dedicated. Because you really had to be a true believer in, say, 1990 to go work there as a lawyer, even as a summer job.
Now they get slackers and resume-builders. Because it's just not an issue.
The answer to "are we there yet?" is still no. But we're closer.
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