“After all the education that we Americans have had and all the relished progress we’ve made, being gay does mean feeling constrained in situations where most people aren’t, scared in circumstances that wouldn’t frighten others in the least, self-conscious when you shouldn’t have to be. Like when you’re holding someone’s hand. It’s the sweetest, most innocent and most natural of gestures: to interlock your fingers with those of a person for whom you’re feeling a sudden rush of affection. A person you maybe love. And yet when my partner takes my hand in public in New York City, I look at the sidewalk ahead. I note how many pedestrians are coming our way, and how quickly, and whether they’re male or female, young or old, observant or distracted. And I sometimes take my hand back, wishing I were braver, wishing our world didn’t ask me to be.” – Frank Bruni, in a New York Times essay which refers to yesterday’s gay-bashing in Chelsea.