I marvel at how the world has changed in 40 years and sometimes struggle to keep up.
Remember the context for these prompts is a coming-out day post, hence the 40-year frame. I marvel even more at the way the world has changed in 60 years, though I don’t remember much about the first few. But blogging about the increasing difficulty in keeping abreast of new technology would just make me sound like an old man.
When I was young, I didn’t grasp how much what we see around us limits our imaginations of what is possible for ourselves, or at least limits what we think is possible, even if we imagine it. This is made clear by how young people are when they realize they are not straight or not one of the genders routinely assigned at birth. I absolutely marvel that people so young have such self-awareness. When I was that age I had no idea. I have to conclude that having examples of alternatives visible in media and in the people around them allows them to reflect on the implications for themselves.
There’s also the routine social norms that have changed in ways I might have imagined but never thought would happen so soon. While advances for LGBTQ+ people remain tenuous, the speed with which some changes happened amazes me. I attribute some of that speed to the spectre of thousands of young men dying before the very eyes of their families and loved ones. Just as there’s nothing like a war to create anti-war activists, there’s nothing like a plague to reveal how widespread (and close to home) gay lives are.