I live in a very small, conservative area, and I didn't really even experience much tolerance in the "art" department. I think more of this has to do with where you are, than anything else. If I were in a larger city, it might not matter so much that I deviated from the "norm".
At least that's my hopeful, rose-colored perspective on moving to the 'big city' lol. I might be severely mistaken.
And, while with passion she repeats her call,
The vi'lets from her lap, and lillies fall:
She misses 'em, poor heart! and makes new moan;
Her lillies, ah! are lost, her vi'lets gone.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses