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Are Attitudes Toward Gays Changing?

Editor’s Note:  If you haven’t read the context for these answers, please click here.

What are the generational differences between straight men in their views of gays and lesbians?

I think that the generations’ difference really depends on a lot of factors. When I think about this question, I immediately think about my own family’s generational differences with my parents, and their parents. However, I feel that my whole family as a whole is very open to the different lifestyles and cultures of other people, whether that be from race, religion, or sexual orientation. I feel as though both of my parents would completely supportive if they found out that I or any of my siblings were gay. And for that matter, I feel the same about my grandma. I don’t think my uncles and aunts would have a big problem either if they found out that their children were gay. Actually, I take that back. I do have one set of uncle/aunt that I feel might have a problem because they’re very religious. (Think the Flanders’ from The Simpsons.) But, all in all, I feel as though my family would be very supportive. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t know other people parents or grandparents, and that I don’t see the generation gap between us and them.


I think my generation, for the most part, is much more open to the fact that homosexuality is a part of our culture.  I’ve grown up with that term being a part of the usual nomenclature.  I think we’re blessed with the fact that we’re able to be immersed in culture throughout our society, and our children will be even more blessed as the acceptance of differences, no matter what they are, continues to grow.  However, that’s not to say that there are still people in my generation that are opposed to the idea of sexuality; it would be naïve of me to think that.  But, as each new generation is created, I think there will always be an increase in acceptance.  It all really depends on upbringing and where you’re from and what political/religious values you were brought up with.  I think that with my parent’s generation, there was a huge increase in acceptance and openness as they were at the right age during the 60’s and the whole Cultural Revolution that our nation went through.  I know my mom for sure was affected as she witnessed the desire for peace and social change, as well as my dad.  However, still there was the other, more conservative, half of the population who resisted or wasn’t as active.


I think it’s more of the grandparents’ generation that may be more resistant to how our culture has evolved.  They grew up in a much more conservative era, before liberalism became known as it is today.  And I really can’t explain why the era was as it was, or why people are still stuck in that mindset; and I don’t mean to say that they all are, because certainly they’re not.  However, I’ve noticed that there is that group that is still even racially insensitive.  I think about when I recently met my girlfriend’s grandfather, and she told me, “Just make sure you don’t tell him that you’re part Mexican.”  So there’s definitely a generational gap there, between all of us, but the line isn’t always as straight as we think.  Generations have variations within and between themselves but I think as newer generations come, the variations will become less and less.


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