Last weekend was IndyPride.
Twenty years ago, when I first started attending Pride events, they were small, and the subject of snickering coverage by the local media. Attendance largely consisted of guys in leather harnesses. Not, I hasten to add, that there is anything wrong with that, but the attendees certainly did not represent the full diversity of the gay community. These days, Pride still draws the leather crowd, but it also has a full complement of couples pushing strollers, preppy guys in penny loafers, elected officials, and businesses trying to sell everything from real estate to insurance. Pride events are listed matter-of-factly in the local paper's listing of festivals, and covered just like other civic celebrations.
I think the growth--and growing acceptance--of Pride festivals is one sign among many that Americans are gradually becoming more comfortable with their gay neighbors, and less likely to support discrimination against them. The culture is changing. Not as quickly as in other western democracies, perhaps, but much more quickly than in Asia, where I just spent a month traveling. There were six of us on the trip--including my (gay) son and a friend who is also gay.
The first country we visited was Bhutan, where I was solemnly assured (on AIDS Awareness Day) that there are no gay people. Our guide explained that "there are no gay Bhutanese." Uh-huh.