Obviously many LGBT people are still in the closet, and the increasing popular attention to this issue is a double-edged sword; as voices of acceptance and support grow stronger, so do the voices of hostility and judgement. For the same reason, some straight people who have gay loved ones can be just as closeted. Even those who feel no personal connection to the issue, but are offended by the obstruction of gay rights, sometimes stay quiet too. In certain environments, simply speaking up against intolerance appears treacherous.
In the conservative settings we sometimes find ourselves in at work, at church, with relatives, or in some whole towns, voicing progressive ideas can feel like walking on eggshells. So if you do feel comfortable speaking up for LGBT issues in a group situation, there may be someone quietly listening to you, amazed to find they are not alone. You may not know it then, you may never know it. But more than once I have later learned that incidental comments I've made have been silently appreciated. It's an unexpected pleasure to find out that during some past party or break room conversation at work, I have unknowingly signaled my support to a quiet observer. You don't have to show up at a rally to make a difference. If you feel like you are in a position to speak up, even in a low-key way, do.
Of course in general I myself am a rowdier troublemaker than most. But I also try to remember that sometimes social progress takes place without fanfare, in the simplest social settings.
Just something to keep in mind over the next couple of weeks. The TV ads and news stories are starting to get intense, so it's easy to get anxious. Let's just keep talking to the folks in our own circles, and trust that most people, in the privacy of the voting booth, will do the right thing.
VOTE MAY 8TH
Get all the voter info you need from the Wake County
Board of Elections website
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