“Most men begin with the promise that we are, in fact, welcome. The boy child is, in almost all our known contexts, the heir. He has the right to assume that he will acquire whatever is possible in his world. If his background includes being the member of a disenfranchised group because of race, religion, ethnic background or class status, he still has the expectation of achieving the most that background will give him.
A gay man, since he is primarily a man, begins with those assumptions. It isn’t until he comes of age and understands his sexual identity and the ways it separates him from his birth community that a gay man achieves a perception of being a member of this particular minority. A woman’s self-identity doesn’t include a late discovery of her gender, a heterosexual Jew’s character is usually something that’s self-evident at an early age, but a gay man’s understanding of himself and his world doesn’t come into focus until much later.”