To the Editor:
Like many Canadians, I have witnessed changes over the last 20 years that I frankly did not think I would ever see in my lifetime. A total reversal of societal attitudes to smoking, the election (twice) of a black American president, and openly gay people in all walks of life and in all careers.
It is in the acceptance of this last group where I fear our community may be considerably behind the times. My understanding is that about one in 10 people are LGBT across all of society, irrespective of gender, age, ethnicity. They are our co-workers, neighbours and family members.
It's very easy to understand that many LGBT citizens choose not to come out, given the hurtful stereotypes and negative attitudes toward them. Ironically, it's easier to hold onto those attitudes precisely because so many of us have never been forced to choose between keeping those views or keeping a lifelong friendship. In many cases, our friends and family members have saved us from needing to make that choice by simply keeping quiet.
I don't know Garrett Schreyer, but I admire his courage and congratulate the Thompson Citizen for printing his story. I hope that our community can uphold its responsibility to treat Garrett and others with the respect, acceptance and understanding which they deserve.