This is a really moving story told by a Council Member in Fort Worth Texas.
While my mother is conservative, homophobia in its strongest forms was not in our home. She had friends who were gay and viewed them as they are–normal people. One friend likely died of AIDS largely in secret because Central Illinois was just not the place that gay men were out 20 years ago.
My mother had a strange history with gay men–she married one in her second marriage (I wasn’t born yet). He was a Naval Officer and she was his unwitting beard. While in Morocco he was discovered by the Military Police. They came and got my mother and sister and packed up their stuff and they never saw him again. While she was hurt and bitter, it later taught her how difficult and unfair that was.
As a kid, I didn’t bully other kids–but I am guilty as many if not most of us at my age of teasing and laughing at guys who weren’t traditionally masculine. I can never take that back, but I can hope that young people today learn better and I certainly raise my children that way.