I think Jeri is right, I was trying to avoid putting it into words but I do think there is more tolerance here. Obviously it varies from place to place, but I think in general there is more of a tendency to take people at their individual value, rather than as part of a group, whatever that group might be. As I said in my previous posting, I can understand how those who've witnessed more violent forms of discrimination may feel far more strongly about it & be far more sensitive to subtleties of interpretation as well. But surely this is the point, from whoever's side you're looking at it - strong feelings & violent behaviour set off chain reactions.
Having teenage children helps no end when it comes to learning not to judge by appearances as well, the punk rocker you saw was probably someone's nice son, Jeri (well, most people are, aren't they?)!
Were you mistaken for a gay man or a straight man, Jeri? Sorry, just being silly.
Perhaps we should start a thread about inuendo - although come to think of it, there must be at least one lurking around already!