I’m From Bergen County, NJ.

by Lou R.

Satellite overhead image of New Jersey from Google Earth 2022

I don’t have a story. I have generalizations of gay life defined by me, by decade.

I was born in the 1960’s with only memories of Vietnam and civil rights.

In the 70’s, being gay was all about being x-rated. It was not a lifestyle but a sex act. You couldn’t be seen in public being gay, you couldn’t be open about your lifestyle, so you hid it in the deep dark corners of a world we lived in. It was actually illegal to be gay in most places. There was much violence against gays and most lived in fear of this violence.

Then AIDS came along in the early 80’s. We had a President who wouldn’t even say the word AIDS. This actually made people hide deeper in the dark corners. We feared for our lives even further.

Then in the 90’s, things opened up and everyone started coming out. It was a different world. Being gay became cool and more and more people accepted it. Laws were introduced to support those who were gay and laws were abolished punishing those who were gay.

After the turn of the century it just seemed being who you were was the way to go and hiding was no longer necessary. So here I am…take it or leave it.

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