We really have come a long way. The gay ghettos (or meccas as we more politely call them these days) have shrunk because far fewer young gay guys like Brad feel they need to flee their home towns to find love and acceptance.
That’s a two-pronged phenomenon, though.
First, and obviously, things have gotten better for many of us, excepting people who live in more isolated, traditional areas.
Second, though, and helping even that group, is Social Media. Even when kids like Brad live in hostile places, they can network and find friends and lovers near them with the help of the Internet.
The meccas helped create the epidemic in the first place, by bringing us together in dense, insular populations. They were a blessing and a curse. We just didn’t know about the curse part until it was too late.