This introductory chapter briefly explores how straight individuals let others know they are straight even though they might have close gay friends, and how race and gender shape and change the meaning of being straight and nonstraight for Black and White men today. In post-closeted cultural contexts, straights can neither assume the invisibility of gays and lesbians, nor count on others to always assume their heterosexuality. In this context, straights also cannot assume that other straights are homophobic or intolerant of gays and lesbians. That is, gay and lesbian tolerance and acceptance are conditioned by the development and increasing growth of straights' antihomophobic practices. The chapter argues that a post-closeted cultural dynamic, which it defines as the presence of openly gay and lesbian individuals and representations of them, is increasingly common in core areas of social life.
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