I play a game of pickup hockey nearly every Monday night. For those of you who aren’t into sports or whatnot, the word “pickup” just means it’s not a league. So there’s no refs, we loosely keep score and there’s no whistles. This particular group on average is much younger than I am and the speed is quite fast. It keeps me on my toes, keeps me in good shape and also keeps my self-esteem firmly ensconced in the back corner of a closet somewhere. It’s always a really good game.
Anyway, I walked into the locker room last night and stepped right into the middle of a story being told by one of the very few guys in the room who is older than I am (by 2 or 3 years tops). He was talking about when he was home for college once around 16 years ago and a cousin or relative came out of the closet to his family and then was subsequently banished from the family for it. Nobody really sounded surprised or shocked about it, then the guy says, “I didn’t care, really, back then I was in college and more accepting of anything.”
I wonder what might have happened to make him less accepting? It does seem that as a lot of people get older, they get more conservative. But why? What happens from, say, age 20 to 30 to 40 that moves some people to a more UN-accepting viewpoint? For me, I’ve become far more accepting than I was at age 20. A lot of that can be attibuted to working in a fairly non-traditional, artistic business most of my 20’s, where being gay was so plainly accepted that I didn’t even bat an eyelash at any of it. I also attended a very liberal university, so that opened my eyes as well. Look, everyone is entitled to their opinion, so my question isn’t a criticism, it’s more of a sociological observation and a question about why some people evolve the way they do.