Hello! I just wanted to chime in here and show support to people who come here, if nothing else. I'm new at shooting, but I dove in head first this summer with both pistols and shotguns. I've taken a few instructional classes, including one with my husband. I stumbled across the Heartland chapter of Pink Pistols a long time ago, and checked in to see what Pink Pistols was doing these days. Sadly, the forum didn't have nearly as many postings as I had hoped for, and it appears the Heartland Chapter is defunct.
At first, I thought "how sad". But then, I started thinking about it, and what is it about Pink Pisols here in the heartland... and why would I even want to "become a member" anyway? After reading the mantra a couple of times (lean to shoot safely, and promote safe personal protection), it became more clear why there may not be many people who actually feel the need to join an organization.
1) FOR ME, shooting at the range is a very individual thing. I like taking new people, but I'm not very excited about going with experienced shooters simply because there's not alot of communication during shooting, if any. I'm BARELY comfortable shooting by myself - much less socializing before, during, or after. However, shooting sporting clays can be very fun to do with friends. Very gentlemanly sport as well... less of the "characters" you might sometimes see at the pistol range (but it's also considerably more expensive).
2) Pink Pistols was founded in 2000(?). Honestly, although there's still room for improvement - alot has changed in that 16 year span. The people running shooting ranges have changed, politics have changed, and I think the general mindset has changed. There's many who still don't "approve" of our orientation - but I think in this day and age - they approve of our right to protect ourselves regardless. I think people are either pro-gun or anti-gun, regardless of sexual orientation. In that light, we've only been to 2 shooting ranges and we've never been made to feel uncomfortable. It's almost as if... "if you're a gun guy, then you're cool with us" kinda thing. That said, we're pretty average guys and we keep to ourselves.
I'm not here to promote business and this post may be edited if need be... but I will say that for those of you who might be looking for "comfortable" places to shoot, Centerfire in Olathe and Powder Creek in Shawnee has been good to us so far. That said, those are the only 2 places we've been to.
Bottom line... maybe it's that in this day and age, the fence that seperates straight vs gay isn't as tall as it once was. Maybe we ALL need to be more comfortable with what used to be a traditionally "straight" past-time. Shooting IS fun (for me) and I treat it like a sport. In fact, I refer to my guns as sporting goods. I truly enjoy shooting. I like to tap into the focus and mindset it requires. I like mechanical things. I'm something of a data-freak so I like to analyze everything (like why I keep missing the target). I like the confidence that I've gained by taking up the sport. And lastly, I like the fact that SHOULD I feel the need to protect myself or my husband, I will be able to do so somewhat more effectively than before.
Most of our friends, mostly straight, DO know that we're pro-gun and active in the hobby. In fact, we only have 1 gay couple that we hang out with, and we haven't seen them in a long time. Rest assured though, one topic we will cover at our next dinner will be this. Some of the people have actually wanted to join us a time or two and have. I don't really know how to "spread the word amongst the gays" that it's okay - and maybe even fun - to shoot firearms. But if I get the chance, I share the fun we've had with people who are both gay AND straight.
So, here's a guy who likes his music, his Jeep, his guns, his Bourbon, and his husband. It's slightly difficult to fit in with any particular clique - but that's okay. I love life, my friends are family, and although I might have an odd genetic makeup... I am who I am, and... oh well! I applaud anyone who comes across this thread. You're gay, but you're not going to be pigeon-holed.
In light of the overall concept of promoting shooting in a comfortable environment, I've named off 2 places that I have no trouble supporting as a gay man. If it's not against forum rules, maybe this would be as good a place as any to start a list of other GLBT friendly ranges here in the Heartland? Just a thought.