(That was the best title I could come up with.)
Blunt, even churlish way of putting the question, but I’m kind of curious—I’ve heard plenty of stories about people (straight and gay) growing up not knowing there even was such a thing as homosexuality. But thinking about it, I realized I have absolutely no memory of when I learned about it. No more than I can remember learning—I dunno, that Finland existed, or, hell, even that heterosexuality existed, for that matter.
Some background: 30 year old (straight) man, born and raised in Northern California, perfectly tolerant immediate family, no gay family members or friends of the family (that I know of) when I was growing up, or any loudly bigoted relatives/friends of family, either.
I actually recall remember thinking when I was about…5ish, that a couple of characters on Fraggle Rock were girlfriends—Mokey and Red, who were roommates, and best friends. I guess I just noticed the living situation, and how close they were, and just thought, “Oh! They must be like my uncle and his girlfriend. They’re a cute couple.” And didn’t think anything else of it.
And I think I might remember watching Danger Bay on the Disney Channel around the same time, when the main character’s son got an ear pierced in one episode, and having some vague awareness about wearing an earring on one side meant you were saying you were “gay.” (I have no idea where I would have even learned that—overheard it on the news. Or Newhart, maybe.) But I don’t think I had any idea of what “gay” was—maybe that it had something to do with being in a rock band.
But the most concrete age I could give is 11 years old, when my family was house-hunting, and I remember knowing what all the rainbow flags in the neighborhood stood for. But it was just a non-issue matter of fact—the same as, like, recognizing what kinds of trees were common, or recognizing a lot of white flags with blue nordic crosses on them.
Well, that’s my boringly progressive, tolerant story. No screaming, or anythin’. But I’m curious to learn what everyone else’s experiences were.
Hopefully, it’ll be a lot of similarly boring stories—the world should be so kind.