I appreciated reading Bill Bakeberg’s (Feb. 3) letter. It’s always reassuring, finding vindication in the words of a stranger.
When I was a young man, Missoula was the city that gay kids fled to, whenever they had the opportunity to escape those small Montana towns that they never thought they would survive. Missoula was the only place they could feel safe, where they knew there were other people “like them.”
Those days are passed. Today, Missoula looks like the Montana town it has always been, as “traditional” Montanans in the style of Gianforte and Daines have started pushing back against the “liberal” communities that escaped to this place. More “Make America Great Again” folks are expressing their opinions on skin color, gender, sexual orientation, and based on those metrics, the value of human life.
If the past four years have done nothing else for Montana, they have illustrated the pattern of the tides that regularly exchange compassion and humanism for jingoism and profits. While the rest of the country focuses on healing, Montana embraces the way of the jingoist, calling it patriotism.
All it really means is Montana is not safe for folks who believe in equity or justice.