Sadly, if I'd been writing about some earlier decades, the stories might not have been so painful. There aren't many left who grew up in the 1920s and early 1930s, but my straight, but observant and not narrow, mother was from that era. From her, I always got a sense that those were far better times to be gay than the immediate post-WWII decades. Even in the 1950s, my mother was aware of the church organist and "his friend" and the two women teachers at the school where she was the librarian and thought them just part of the human mix. She had learned in her youth a live and let live version of "don't ask, don't tell, don't disturb."
While looking for the 1950s videos, I found this, which suggests that in some places and classes, the 1920s and 1930s were better for gays. It's fun. [2:46]
The accompanying text claims:
I'm sure I could write that history in a more nuanced way -- but you got to like the tune, "Masculine Women, Feminine Men."
And now we find ourselves on the verge of winning gay marriage in all the Northeast and quite soon in Californian. Pretty amazing times.