This past week, Canadian actress Ellen Page came out as gay. And while the West applauds her brave decision to be honest, I’m saddened that in this day and age not only is such a statement still considered news, it’s also still considered brave.
I had a gay family member who grew up in a time when, here in North America, there was full-on intolerance. And it wasn’t that long ago; I remember in the late 1980s how gay men could be regularly beaten up while the cops watched and laughed until blood was drawn.
My family member, who died in 2004, lived in fear of exposure. He wasn’t an activist or a threat to anyone’s values. He was just a regular guy whose sexual preferences could not only have threatened his career, it threatened his personal safety.
I’m sure he would have been proud of Ms. Page though, and the new chapter she is starting in her public life. And he’d also be please at how society at large has become more tolerant, despite the dark backdrop to this year’s Olympic games.
See you out there…
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Richard Todd is a novelist, screenplay writer, and social media guy. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.