Why did I pick up the phrase? Its personal relevance. I was born in 1980, 11 years after the repeal of Canada's sodomy laws; I reached what was then the age of sexual consent in Canada, 14, 13 years after the first diagnosis of AIDS in Canada and just a couple of years before the introduction of the first effective antiretroviral treatments; and in 2005, just over a year after I moved to Toronto, same-sex marriage was made legal across Canada. I was lucky enough to be born late enough to enjoy (as an adult) equality before the law with heterosexuals, well after the surprise catastrophic onset of HIV/AIDS and the (too) later development of effective medical treatments for those infected with the virus. Had I been born only a couple of decades earlier, I'd have been quite in the thick of it all. (Hopefully for a very extended period of time.)
I enjoy the grace of late birth: my encounters with homophobia and HIV/AIDS, while certainly unpleasant, have certainly been much less difficult than what I know others have experienced. It's up to me to determine how I react to those past experiences, things I would have gone through had things been only slightly different. But how?
That's why I ask--and not only for my own personal sake, but out of a more general curiosity--how you, my readers, deal with your own graces of late birth?