So, I've always been a pretty open-minded person. I had pretty open-minded parents, and they were definately instrumental in my generally being able to accept people for whoever they are, whatever they do, etc. Of course, this is generally in reference to a lot of things, but at the moment I'm thinking specifically along the sexual/gender orientation area. (But of course!)
I've always sorta kept to myself (about this kind of thing, anyway), though I'd never LIE about it, I don't go yelping all over the place that I'm bisexual/gender confused/whatever. But it sort of gave me the illusion that the things I always accepted as okay - being queer in whatever way - were a lot more accepted than they actually are. I never brought it up, so it was never contested/met with general werid looks or whatever.
So, of course, now that I'm a bit more out of my shell and am looking into/thinking about these sorts of things a bit more actively, and (gasp! shock!) maybe mentioning them to people I know, like co-workers and less-really-close-friends, I'm running into people giving me "the look". The "so you talk with freaks on the internet, what kind of nutcase are you" look. And it's about then that I realize how few of the people I know are gay, even, and the fact that my Little Canadian City only has one "gay bar" that is usually populated about 75% with completely straight people (not that there's anything wrong with that, it just sort of defeats the purpose *laughs*).
So this is making me wonder how differently I would have started to think about my own sexuality/gender if I'd been more apt to talk about it when I was in, say, late High School, etc? I can't decide if I would have felt pressured into shutting up about it given "the looks" I'd have gotten, or if I'd have taken a more radical approach just out of spite (I'm still trying to get out of that habit. *laughs*). It also sort of worries me to some degree about the face of (particularly) gender issues to the general public, thinking mainly about small cities and towns and generally more rural places that are less likely to have any sort of "groups" or "communities" (just to stick the word in there) of trans folk of whatever kind. A lot of people I know have hardly ever heard about anyone being trans, other than maybe something MTF-like.
I'm starting to feel the draw of moving to a larger metropolis (though that isn't likely thanks to personal commitments/current employment/etc). Mainly because I just feel so oddly alien being surrounded by such (to liberally use a stereotype) "small town folk". Anyone (who is older and wiser than myself *bows respecfully*) have any similar experience, or insight as to the differences between small town/big city acceptance/knowledge/whatever/I-use-too-many-slashes?