Gay rights have come a long way in just 15 years. My 84 year old neighbor illustrates it.
Now Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin, America's first lesbian Senator, has never been a "Mrs." But for Mrs. Peterson's WWII generation:
1."Mrs." was and is the highest sign of respect in addressing or speaking about a woman.
2. This is a generation that protected their gay friends and relatives by never mentioning it.
My father had a boyhood, and lifelong, friend who was gay. He would visit, and neither would ever mention or acknowledge it. My father would make a joke about women, and his friend would laugh along, while I wanted to scream that he was gay, but I now know my father knew and he was protecting his friend. (His friend also worked for the CIA, another topic off-limits, so I have no idea what they talked about!)
This was just 15 years ago. Things do change. And during a NineShift period (1900-1920; 2000-2020) they change very quickly.