^Kestra, I believe you summed up some of what I was going to say rather well. Change for me as well has been somewhat more gentle.
I've found it takes experience to change perceptions about big things. Marriage equality... I can't say honestly that I was always supportive of it, but now, I regard it as necessary. Why have civil unions in the US when it'll be marriage anyway? It's silly not to call it what it's going to be.
As for religion... I've found my views weren't that rigid to begin with. Some of my family was more flexible and didn't force me to view one exact way. I'm an unusual person in that regard, looking for similarities between religious faiths rather than so many differences that I know are there. I think that truly started when I was in seventh grade.