I dunno. I'm not the world's most optimistic soul. (You can stop guffawing now.) But I do have a particular talent for perseveration, as a shrink once said, trying to see if I really was as smart as I think I am. (I defined it to his liking, so I guess I won that round. I didn't get a 700-and-something on my GRE verbal for nothing.) And I've observed some things lately that have made me wonder if mankind, or at least the American version thereof, actually might be capable of -- oh dear -- evolving.
I mean yeah, there are still the Pat Robertsons of the world, but I suspect Pat is in love with himself and his ability to stir the shit. Among the great unwashed, it's been interesting lately to discover what's become acceptable.
There's not much point about talking about "back in the day," because it's so far back for me that it's incomprehensible to most now. (Seriously -- if I tell you that I didn't know the F-bomb existed, much less what it meant, till I was 12, could you extrapolate that to a 12-year-old in 2010 and not die laughing?) But my generation got farked in a whole lot of ways -- and the sociologists FINALLY are giving us some data to prove that to the haters -- and one of them was in our inability to stand up for who and what we are from a young age. These days, those around LGBT kids who come out in their teens often don't bat an eye. It's just not a huge deal. "Back in the day" (late '70s and forward some), it was a *tremendously* huge deal, to the point that many of us didn't come forward till adulthood, and then with trepidation.
So it's been interesting to me to see the 7-year-old boy who came through my line at the Bullseye with his mom, handed me two cheap-ass, made-in-China, Disney princess figurines (Cinderella and another one, I forget who), and excitedly said, "THESE are MINE!" Mom didn't blink. Nor did the mom of the young male teen tonight who handed me a "My First Salon" (as in beauty, not literary, although I'd be tickled to see an Algonquin Round Table playset) and said he didn't mind that the package was open, he'd take it anyway. And of course, neither of those things means those boys are budding 'mos, but my larger point is that those kids didn't have parents flipping out that they weren't buying war toys or Hot Wheels instead.
*My* mother once informed me, while watching a St. Patrick's Day parade in which a LGBT group was participating, that she would be "mortified" -- her exact word, which I have never forgotten -- if one of her children turned out to be gay.
It might be a generational thing, or we might actually have come a long way, baby. But props to all the parents who let their kids be who they are rather than who the parents want them to be.
And perhaps things really can change: Tonight the one person who has been uniformly awful, mean, snippy, hateful, etc toward me since the day I started -- smiled at me and genuinely apologized for all the times she'd been awful, mean, snippy and hateful toward me. Wonders actually may never cease. ;-)