Now that a little over half of Americans don't react like a bunch of insane Medieval idiots to the concept that there might actually be people in the world with a homosexual orientation, there are a lot of stories to tell. We're not just telling the stories to ourselves any more.
Last year, during a recital at a musical theater program, a straight friend asked why so many of the guys chose to sing songs with gay themes, or more generally why there were so many songs now in musical theater with gay themes, and the answer to me was so self-evident that I was a little appalled to be asked. But I guess if you didn't grow up gay you wouldn't see how starkly different things are now compared to even 5 or 10 years ago.
It's so much more satisfying now to tell a story with a gay character or subject because the gayness isn't automatically the whole story any more. A general audience might sit and listen and be relaxed (and informed!) enough to see and hear a story about a specific person in a specific situation, doing and feeling unique and interesting and human things, instead of most of the audience just immediately having the reaction, "Oh my god! He's gay!" and not taking in anything else.
This weekend, as we celebrate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots (if you're not gay and over 40, maybe you need a little history lesson), I want to remind everyone that Stonewall was important but it was the 80s when things really started to change.