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Or gay in the mountains, or country-queer, or whatev term happens to catch your fancy. Mostly we just don't discuss it unless we're at a gay bar, a Pride event, with family, or trying to get ourselves killed. I'm one of the latter ones who walks around with emblems shaved into my head (though they're so esoteric no-one knows WTF they mean- a comet for being NONBINARY and a circle for being ACE) and sporting a plaid scarf with a rainbow pattern stripe. A friend wryly inquired if I were TRYING to get the Westboro Baptist Church to show up and picket my individual dwelling? I replied with a poker face that indeed that WAS my aim. Lol. I have been known to rail against the local many tentacled healthcare system here in SWVA (Ballad), but the one GOOD thing that it has done is to (inexplicably) give all patients in ALL of its facilities a surprisingly wide options of gender and sexual identifiers. Knock me over with a feather, you could. AND they insist that their doctors call patients by their preferred pronouns and gender when addressing them in session and writing up reports. So one good thing. But one reason I have for being open and transparent about who and what I am is this: I figure that a lot of people have never MET anyone (that they know of) who is LGBTQ. So if they regularly see someone who is a neighbor, a fellow transit rider, an active community member who does things like help them get their groceries in the car, pay their bus fare if they don't have correct change,  shop at the farmer's market,  walk my dog...i.e. be a normal (and nice) human being, then MAYBE they'll think twice when they hear FOX NEWS or read a FB post demonizing "the gays" or hate speech about trans folk. They MIGHT stop and think, "Hey, they are talking about K-! And that's not right!" Of course, this has also backfired on me, and I've gotten more careful since the election of Cheeto-Jebus to the WH. But I think it has also made somewhat a difference.

Edited by AppalachianBookDust
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Homosexuality used to be seen as a mental illness. Times change and these day I think homophobia is a bit fucking weird and requires some explanation. I'm not gay - don't recall making the 'lifestyle choice' to be straight - and I don't give a fuck. In a good way. Someone once threatened to track me down and kill me just because I was explaining why their homophobia was an expression of their repressed homosexual desires. Some people can't handle the truth. Just suck a dick instead of acting like one.

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