If You Lived Here, You'd Be Straight By Now

Straight Guy,

Just checking in. Bravo on your recent posts. Excellent stuff.

Gay Guy is spending a few days with his parents to celebrate Mother's Day. Awww. I know, sweet. I was due for a visit, and it is the perfect time. So, here I am, right where I began, where I lived until I left for college.

Whenever I visit "home," as I still call it, I wonder what my life would have been like if I had stayed here. I don't know that I planned or decided to go to college and keep going, but I knew that I was "from" here, not "of" here. Even as a child I knew my destiny was to be over-taxed, over-crowded, and anonymous as a trade-off for being one of the city-dwelling, theater-going, late-night-tuxedo-wearing-martini-guzzling-one-line-zinging guys I watched in a string of classic black and white 40s movies. So far I've achieved over-taxed and gin-guzzling.

So, who would I be if I lived the small town life? Would I be out? Out would be tough. This town has a population of about 5,000, so it's not exactly a speck on the map, but the last man who set off my gaydar was the flight attendant with chunky silver jewelry. 

Yes, I know, there must be some of my peeps around here. And, it's not like I am looking to hang out or hook up. I'm just want to know what their lives are like, and I'm just wondering if I would be the "bachelor next door" or have faked it with a wife, kids, and lawn mower.

Readers, I know from reading our daily blog stats that many of you are from small towns -- in the U.S. and elsewhere. Do any of you have something to say about gay life in small towns?

--Gay Guy


SteveA said...

Just be careful about the signals you send. OK I've lived in Fort Lauderdale and it's different, but I'm a thinking that open-mindedness may not be rampant in small towns.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Hm, not a very small town here, but not a big one. The people I know are all teenagers-I'm not entirely sure that even if they are gay they know yet.

Straight in Upstate said...

I think "confirmed bachelor/ single woman with lifelong roommate" is the definite M.O. - some of them may truly be straight and single, but not all of them. (I'm thinking of the older generation, probably in their 70s by now.) The few out people I've known of in town were newcomers who established the fact as soon as they hit town. I know plenty of LBGQTs (yes, a T) from our town, but I don't think anyone of them stayed in town.

Kyle said...

I live in a small town in Tennessee. The same Tennessee that recently had Sarah Palin at a Tea Party rally in Nashville (the same one that was also just flooded). My town is just south of Nashville, so at least I had exposure to a moderately large city, but I don't know if I would have come out. My high school had all of 2 out gay people when I decided to join the ranks. I live in redneck backwaters, and I knew from a young age that I would be escaping the south one way or another. Granted, I still go to college here, but at least my school is moderately large and has a refreshing, generally intelligent student body with low homophobia. I think I'd like a grad school in a bigger city, though.

Gay Guy said...

Welcome, Kyle.

I appreciate your comments.

From growing up in a small town and going to a small college, I know how wonderful and supportive both experiences can be. But, in both of those wonderful experiences I found it more difficult to be myself. The city, with its drawbacks, offers me more opportunity to be who I want and need to be. Plus it gives me the chance to meet so many more and different kinds of people.

Keep reading and commenting!

Gotta ask: Is the flood punishment for hosting the Tea Party?

Tom said...

Like Kyle, I grew up in a small town in the South (Virginia, in my case, just outside of Norfolk & Virginia Beach) with exposure to a larger metropolitan area nearby. I go back to visit my family and keep in touch with friends from high school, but I don't see myself ever moving back "home." Even if it was a more open minded place, it's just too small. My husband and I have lived in Richmond for the last 10 years, and we're trying to plan our escape up to DC in the next 2 or 3.

Kyle said...

Haha, sorry this is such a late response (my notifications were going to an oft unused email address). Gay Guy, I would say probably. Obviously God needed to cleanse the land of evil.

But really, it was a terrible flood. Vanderbilt is on higher ground in West Nashville, and the flood happened while I was on campus. The Children's Hospital flooded a bit in the basement, but most of the water hit downtown. My home was fine since I live in a hilly area. The Tea Partiers have been rather silent about the flood, oddly. I don't hear them claiming its punishment for the existence of gays or Obama or anything.

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