The New York Times published a travel piece from former Billings local Brooks Barnes today, the headline of which poses an interesting question: Would a gay man be welcomed home in Montana?
Barnes, who currently lives in Los Angeles, set out in late June to investigate for himself. He and his partner trekked the state, from the Home Cafe in Conrad to Anaconda's Washoe Theater, on a week-long precursor to a wedding in Big Sky. According to Barnes' story, his mother had told him Montana wasn't the same outwardly bigoted state it used to be. Barnes had his doubts.
We would either arrive in Big Sky with newly open minds about Montana, or we would be sporting a bumper sticker of our own: 'Paddle Faster. I Hear Banjo Music.'
Barnes found his answer, the same answer we in Missoula would more than likely have given. The answer was yes. Our only question for him: Why would you go see "Fast and the Furious 6" while in Anaconda?