Gay Pride in San Francisco

Today, on Twin Peaks, there’s an enormous pink triangle.

It’s made of tarpaulins pegged to the ground, and it’s a memorial to the homosexual victims of Hitler’s concentration camps. By extension, it’s a memorial to all gay people who have been victimized in many different places at many different times. And it’s a symbol of Gay Pride, part of the Gay Pride celebrations. There’s a parade downtown, too.

I’m old enough to remember when being gay was something people concealed, sometimes even from themselves. No one knew anyone who was gay. (Or they didn’t know they knew someone gay.) There was discomfort and hatred and discrimination, even among those who considered themselves liberal.

It’s so different now. People are comfortable being “out.”  I do know gay people, many gay people. Or rather, I’m aware that some of the people I know are gay, which back then I didn’t.

It’s one of the great changes in society over the last two or three decades, especially in San Francisco. It shows that positive social change *is* possible. Last year, India struck down a colonial-era law that made homosexuality illegal, finally decriminalizing it.  Of course, all the battles aren’t won yet; legal discrimination persists. But nevertheless, a great deal has been achieved. This makes me optimistic. I’m not gay, but I’m proud.

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