I had the pleasure of listening to this yesterday while out and about and stayed in the car the last 5 minutes in a parking lot to finish it up. Wonderfully put, Pete. It's very unfortunate we live at a time when so many people are obsessed with either shouting their thoughts from the rooftops as if their opinions NEED to be heard, or that are others that are doing whatever possible to keep others from speaking their minds, no matter how insignificant and small their comments are. I feel it's rooted in today's rather self-centered outlook, with little to no actual empathy and understanding for others being taught or established, and it shows.
My dad had a saying after speaking his mind on something. He'd say, "But what's my opinion compared to millions of others?". He essentially said here's my two cents, but so what? Take it or leave it. Far too many people seem to demand others take their opinion rather than leave it. That's not to say you shouldn't speak your mind, I think you absolutely should! I simply feel that people should have perspective. You have your thoughts, someone else has theirs and that's ok.
On gatekeeping, as you mentioned I can see why people try and do it. I look at it this way: we all get inoculations, don't we? To prevent getting infected with some terrible illness and preventing it from spreading? Sure, I understand why folks decide to try and give the things they love a wall to defend it from getting ruined, but again, it's back to the self centered view of "I'm right, you're wrong" and that sort of outlook is seemingly pervasive in everything. I choose to speak with my wallet more often than not. If a corporation goes out if their way to offend or exclude me for being me, then they won't get my time, energy or most importantly money. I'd far rather build something positive somewhere else than try and beg to get back into a place I was once welcome.
Anyway, this rant is turning into a full length novel but I was really into the topic and the message. Thanks for all you're doing, Pete!