Is the world, in general, more gay tolerant than it was 20 years ago? There seems to be, in the US, more of a presence of gay culture than there was 20 years ago or so. Heck, the film Brokeback Mountain was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture last. Would that have happened in Hollywood 20 years ago? Back here in the Bahamas the film was banned after it was advertised at our local theatre. I can only say that the GOVERNMENT sorry I meant to say THE CHRISTIAN COUNCIL must have been asleep at the wheel when this movie was allowed to travel from God knows where to our shores. It’s funny we suppose to live in a democratic country but can’t see a movie that has nothing to do with our society at large. The craziest thing is that movies like V for Vendetta was shown here and anyone who saw it knew what the theme of the movie was and OUR LEADERS who ever they are didn’t recognize that. The X-Men movies all had such a HUGE GAY UNDERTONE that you couldn’t miss it and that movie will creep into the conscious of the people quicker than an openly GAY THEME MOVIE. I know that our fight is a bit different and easier than it was for my GAY BROTHERS & SISTERS 20 years ago. Hence my mentioning of a movie pales in comparison to what they had to endure, but holding back a community of people is wrong no matter what cause they are fighting for. HOMOPHOBIA makes it difficult for US and forces many to a closeted life here in the Bahamas. I know that being GAY a few years was difficult but we have made strides in this area. Nonetheless, most men here BEEF up their masculinity to avoid suspicion. I thank GOD that we are not like most gay men in Africa that lead lives of isolation, loneliness and separation and most of all fear. I am so grateful that we don’t live the way they do in Jamaica, even though I firmly believe that 90% of the MEN there explore their SEXUALITY with each other. I hang my head in shame when I think of why these things happen. How can people feel justified to behave like this in this world today? I say that RELIGION is the driving force of such behaviour and thinking. It’s weird how people say that money is root of all evil, but I think that RELIGION has that on lock. These closed minded individuals that make it hard to breathe within your own space. Amazing to me is that a lot of people may or may not realize that the church is the first place to find the gay lifestyle, starting right in the front line. People have a tendency to sit in judgment of other when the one doing the judging have the most skeletons in the closet. Easier to live I wouldn't say, but maybe better. There is no doubt those persons over 40 have made a difference in how easy it is to be out about being gay or bi, how much easier really depends on where you live. However with shows like Will and Grace, Ellen and cable’s Queer as Folks, The L Word, Six Feet Under I can see an improvement in tolerance. These shows exist because of the strides made by the generations before mine. I can definitely say that they made things easier to be an ‘out’ gay man in his 20's. Though strides were made there are still certain industries, and companies making things difficult for us. I was FIRED for being GAY and at that time of my life I didn’t know what I know now and if it was reversed things would happen in a different way. But to be out or not is an easier decision in this day and age. Of course there are exceptions to everything...and each person’s family situation is different. With so many beautiful and shining examples out there on Television, in the papers, and even out in restaurants (same sex couples w/ children) gay business execs, I don’t think there are the same 'pressures' anymore to grow up and get married and have children which could reduce the need for the 'DL' life so many lead. I understand that it still takes a set of balls to come out, and it requires a lot of inner strength and self-confidence to do so. But being on the inside of that closet door is a scary place still...but the amount of open arms and support on the outside is so much more than it ever was. Sometimes we have to walk away from our families and friends in order to be true to ourselves. But in the end, we are not alone anymore. And I thank the generations of OUT GAY MEN & WOMEN who came before me. You have fought battles and won. You deserve our respect and our thanks. We continue in the struggle in your footsteps and by your examples of strong will and determination. However, unfortunately we lost a whole generation of gay men to AIDS. Legions of gay men who would have now been in their late 50's and 60's are no longer with us. These men made it easier for gay people to be who they are today because we have a little bit more freedom... but there is still a lot of room for improvement...for starters we still have people who believe they have the right to tell us who we are allowed to marry and who we are not... not to mention the gay-bashing and being blamed and ridiculed for the AIDS epidemic... in my opinion it’s a lot easier for heterosexuals than it is for homosexuals... but on the other hand I do have to agree that it appears that in certain parts of the world homosexuality is just as natural as heterosexuality... but that is just what it appears to be on the surface...right?