A Moment in History: A Changing of Attitudes

Years ago, when I was in elementary school, there was a gay teacher and though he wasn’t my teacher, my friends and I found out about his sexual orientation anyways. “Mr. X is gay,” whispered my friend into my ear and both of us giggled. We were little elementary school children and I was one of the ones who wasn’t really exposed to sex or swearing until middle school so really, I giggled without really understanding what being gay meant. It wasn’t until much later on that I realized how brave that teacher was for being open about it with his students because back then, same sex marriage wasn’t allowed in Canada and back then, homosexuality was unusual enough that even elementary school girls would giggle about it. I feel bad for doing so now.

When I got to middle school, my math and science teacher was flamboyantly gay and it was then that I learned that sexual orientation doesn’t really matter because what you do in your bedroom is your own business and being gay doesn’t affect how you are as a friend, teacher, neighbour, etc;. I’m very thankful for that teacher in middle school (and the elementary school teacher too) because by being openly gay, he taught his students something even more important than the math and science that many of them would forgo in university: he taught acceptance.

In any case, this blurb came out of comments I read off of CBC. One of their articles: “Figure skater Weir comes out in new book” began with: “Never a fan of labels, Johnny Weir is giving himself one: He’s gay.”

Well, for the most part, no one is shocked really. What is really nice are some of these comments:

JDB8484: You know, someday the time will come when homosexuality isn’t a big deal at all. Perhaps if the media stopped making it front page material when someone comes out of the closet, that day will come sooner.
Honestly, I share my bed with a dog, my niece shares hers with a teddy bear, my best friend shares his with his wife and my accountant share his bead with his boyfriend. Do you know how little I care, or how little anyone should care?

IBLeaf: And I’m straight. So what?

JustWondering: And the Pope’s Catholic. Good luck with the book and happy skating.

However, kencanuck underlines the sober reality that we shouldn’t forget:

As a gay man who does not fit the stereotype, I appreciate everyone here saying it’s no longer an issue to them.

However, we are far from these attitudes being a widespread or even a common one. For those of us who are lucky to live in progressive urban areas, we still hear of incidents of gay bashing in our home towns. There are regions on this planet where gay people are still being executed because of who they love. In the United States, we have fringe groups like the Westboro Baptist Church whose sole purpose is to spread hatred because of one issue – homosexuality.

A lot of progress has been made, especially in Canada. However, a lot of work still needs to be done and we can’t ignore this truth.

To end, here is a skater who was openly gay during his career.
And to add to the celebration of a growing acceptance (and because I have a celebrity crush on Darren Criss), look at what can appear on mainstream TV!
Baby, it’s cold outside~
~The Rinkside Cafe

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