Do you live in constant fear of being gay bashed, has it actually happened to some of you? I guess it goes without saying that you have to be in the closet but, do some of you take it further and find someone to beard for you?
It's not bad in the big city. I wouldn't want to try a small town.
No fear of gay bashing. But just knowing that conservatism is permeating the air makes me want to leave. The south is disgusting.
It has nothing to do with the state. There are plenty of "red" anti-gay areas in the most liberal of states, and vice versa.
Op is just being precious. It's the usual DL-NY queenery/facile snobbery dressed up as "curiosity."
Tough day at the shop, dear? Were the other girls mean to you? Roommates acting up again? You just make yourself a nice, hot cup of tea and tell us all about it.
On the other hand, R3, state laws apply to the entire state.
No need to mock, R4. The question was a sincere one.
I have coped with a red-state setting by being really tight with my circle of friends, acquaintances, and family (luckily have an OK relationship with most of them). Outside of them I keep a low profile and don't interact much.
The people where I live can be so helpful, giving, humorous and kind. At the same time there is a real streak of hate. Very confusing sometimes.
r4= bitter, flyover stuck in Bumblefuck
The only such statewide laws that would effect everyday life are marriage laws, and not all blue states have them. California voted for an anti-gay amendment. Is life in California utterly unimaginable to you?
This disingenuous "And do they cook with gas on Mars, too?!?!" is irksome queenery, and you know it. And if your life were really so fucking cosmo-fabulous, you'd be doing something better on a Friday night than trying to come to DL to sneer at the flyovers.
Can it, shop girl.
When I was younger I was attacked twice, have a nice scar over my left cheek to look at every day. My family is great but I lost all but one friend when I came out, I was 19. That was over 10 years ago and now it's not perfect and not much dating available but I rarely feel uncomfortable anymore.When I want to get dressed up, wear more than eyeliner I have to travel FL for the weekend. Otherwise, unless I date a Mexican, I should be alright.
Mostly I am boring, with my dogs and cats, family driving me crazy, just wanting to relax after 6.
r7 is proof my read was accurate, r6.
If you think the question's sincere, you need your head examined.
I've lived in CT, Alabama, Florida, NYC, and Washington. Didn't feel much different in any of the states. In fact the one I had the most fun in and the closest friends was Alabama. The only downside was the lack of a sufficient dating pool. You have just as much chance to be bashed in NYC as you do in Alabama.
I would have stayed in Alabama, as the job offers poured in, but it had one thing that made that impossible. That was the heat.
This is definitely not a sincere question. It reeks of the eldergay.
Hmmm, New Yorkers do get gay-bashed occasionally, but they do set up house as couples a lot and are way openly out day to day at work. They have high influence in cultural and civic life. They also do not deal with heavy Christianity in NYC. Any similar scenario in Alabama? Not challenging you, just asking.
Is there such a thing anymore?
[quote]they do set up house as couples a lot and are way openly out day to day at work.
There are plenty of out gay couples in red states. And most NY gays are single, if not confirmed spinsters.
[quote] In fact the one I had the most fun in and the closest friends was Alabama. The only downside was the lack of a sufficient dating pool.
Exactly the same experience. (Live there now.)
So out couples in Mississippi. How about at work?
But maybe this is indeed an elder discussion.
R16 when I get a paid account..
I love living in the country/boonies of AL. I just hate the dating scene.
I'm not going to try and defend that gays have more influence in NYC. Most of it is because of course the higher numbers of gay people that live there. But yes I know of many cases in Alabama of people being out and proud in Alabama.
There aren't roving gangs with torches and baseball bats looking to bash gays in Alabama. Hell Alabama has the highest per capita rate of Ph.D.s in the nation.
It is certainly easier to live your life out in NYC but is it just as easy to live your life out in upstate NY as it is in NYC? No.
I live in NYC now and everyday just on my commute I have to deal with more nasty people than I did in months in Alabama. Long story short is each place has it good points and bad points.
The reason I lived in Alabama was because I went to college there after I left the military. The college I went to has a World respected program for what I studied. Alabama also had a program for veterans that if you chose to go there after you leave the military you get all the benefits as an in-state student. That and the cost of living allowed me to leave college with only a 15K debt. I had a hell of a life in Alabama but the heat was unnatural to me.
As a side note NYC is much more racially divided than Alabama. Everyday I dealt with more African Americans on a personal level than I do in NYC. There may be more minority groups in NYC but they rarely interact on a personal level. I haven't seen a single black tenant in my UES,doorman building. It's economically segregated.
My company is relocating to Portland, Me in May and it can't come soon enough for me.
Like I say. To each his own and every place has its good and bad. I will say being more of an outdoors person my problems with NYC are more my fault than the city's. It wasn't a good fit and I should have know that from the start. Though the first year or so was pretty exciting. After the newness wears off it is just a really taxing(literally and figuratively) place to live.
"NYC is much more racially divided"
True. Not many people know that NYC has some the most segregated schools in the nation, far exceeding even the urban and rural south.
"Hell Alabama has the highest per capita rate of Ph.D.s in the nation."
I instinctively do not believe this but I will look it up.
[quote] The only such statewide laws that would effect everyday life are marriage laws
What about anti-discrimination laws that don't cover sexual orientation or gender identity? Those also have the ability to effect everyday life, if you could lose your job, your home and more without protections.
I grew up and lived in Oklahoma for a while as an adult. As a femme woman with a femme girlfriend, the worst I ever encountered was a very creepy security guard who tried to follow us home from QuickTrip one night. Other than that, the only negativity we ever encountered was the random dirty look when we engaged in any sort of PDA.
I do think it's more difficult as an obviously gay man, but my personal experience was not particularly hellacious.
R23, I will be honest and say I knew that to be the case about six years ago. It may have changed. A lot of people don't know the amount of the space program work that is done in Alabama. Specifically in the Huntsville area. It may not be true today but it was at one time. Regardless I still like to say it. Throw me that bone at least.
I believe that poster may have meant to say Hunstville, which has one of the highest, if not the highest, per capita rate of PhDs in the world due to all the tech jobs.
Anyway, you're right. There's no way the state itself has the highest per capita rate by state.
I was gay bashed in San Francisco by a gang of blacks!!
Boston HATES blacks
[quote]Those also have the ability to effect everyday life,
Well, most big cities in red states have such anti-discrimination laws.... And really: Have you ever known someone--red or blue state--that was protected by one of those laws? Someone whose life was affected by them? Someone who was discriminated against and then was able to take it to court? Not a news case or something you find by google but someone you know? Anti-discrimination laws are great and all, but they're mostly symbolic in terms of substantively protecting people or giving them recourse or affecting everyday life.
I think you'd have to search high and low for someone whose life was really affected by them on a day-to-day basis. Everyday life in, say, Austin for gay people doesn't look vastly different from everyday life in, say, Sacramento because of such state-level laws imho.
It's more than a question of being beaten up.
Can gay people be out as couples or single people?
Can they have civic or cultural impact not as "sweet uncle Bernie" but as out gays?
Let's forget about silly laws that don't matter in the day to day. If you are gay can you visit the hospital if your partner is there? Inherit money or an insurance policy?
How do they feel about out gays who adopt kids or teach in schools?
Again, not challenging, just asking.
Wherever you live, what does it matter what the other 98% of your state is like? A better question would ask about people's neighborhood or city. I don't think Louisville is necessarily the same as Paducah, or New Orleans the same as Shreveport.
I feel very safe where I live. We don't have subway tracks to be thrown on, so there's less to worry about than some other places.
[quote]Those also have the ability to effect everyday life,
The funniest thing about my friends from Alabama is I'm in constant contact with them through emails and such. They come and visit more times than you would think possible. They rent a minivan and come in groups of four to six. We get the air mattresses going in the living room and they have a hell of a time visiting the city. You can have a whole lot of affordable fun if you have a place to cook and sleep and don't have to pay for those.
They've been here so often they know the place as well as I do and I go to work and we hangout at night. They get their subway maps and metro cards and they're off all day. They fucking love it.
One thin about Alabamans is they are chatty Cathys and have such a lack of fear in dealing with people. Southerners, and Alabamans in particular, see no question or conversation as just too personal. They'll look for the craziest of crazies to sit next to on the train and chat them up. "where do you find an outfit like that?" "you're gay right? you like it here more in the city?" "Is it hard to get that blue in your hair?" "can I take a picture of you." "Here take one with me now" "I love those hotdogs they sell on the street." LOL
They've never been treated rudely and the people have always eagerly engaged them in their conversation. Chinatown is always their big destination. And they can never get enough of the Statue of Liberty.
People just aren't the different or hateful. Too much of it is imagined and to many people live their lives guided by their unwarranted fears.
Which state are you in, r31? Earlier in this thread you said you live in a red state. Now you're asking about it as if you're asking about life on Mars. Can you not look around the place where you are and reach your own conclusions?
I live in Arkansas and I'm moving back to Florida. Not that I hate Arkansas, it was just a spur of the moment decision and I'd rather go back to a place that has a bigger dating pool and most importantly more career options for me.
Arkansas is probably one of the weirdest places I've ever lived, but weird in a nice way. People don't lock their doors at night and nothing happens to them, people don't lock their cars when they go shopping, people go to the bathroom on a busy Friday night at the bar and leave their iPhones out on the bar and nobody takes their stuff. That is just unheard of in Florida, and especially the part about people not locking their doors...I'm under 30 and I thought that just didn't exist in America anymore. People are a lot more trusting here and crime is ridiculously low. I remember asking once about walking at night and people looked at me like I had three heads; to them it never occurred to them that it could be unsafe to do. Arkansas might be a place I'd consider settling down in once I had a partner and a good career but right now I'd rather be more upwardly mobile.
I live in Bossier City, Louisiana, which I believe to be the capital of redneck territory. Most people have always practiced "live and let live". I live very discreetly, and nobody asks me questions and I tell them no lies. Our last congressman, for many years, was a closet-case, anti-gay Republican named Jim McCrery. He was elected over and over, even after being "outed" by The Advocate, and then by Mike Rogers. That tactic simply does not work. People around here look at it that he is doing the right thing, trying to live uprightly with his wife, and bring up their children in church, even though he has unwanted same-sex attractions. The "outing" tactic just caused backlash with people saying "look at what those gays will do trying to destroy someone's life when he has left their sick lifestlye behind to do the right thing. They are just trying to recruit Jim into their gay movement". He was re-elected as many times as he chose to run, until he chose to retire.
R36, I'm not sure which part of Arkansas you lived in, but I also lived in NW AR for awhile, and was not a fan. Fayetteville, which is where I lived, is a college town, and more progressive as a result, but even there I had to deal with daily questions of where I attended church, which rarely came up living in Oklahoma.
I had to spend a week in El Dorado, AR last year for work and my experience there is what finally drove me out of the state for good. My girlfriend and I went out to a local bar for a few beers one night. During the course of the evening, locals freely threw the n-word around (although several of them had n-word friends, by their own admission), and we were treated to a diatribe by a former local in town on business on the dangers of (male) homosexuality. I guess since we were relatively attractive, feminine lesbians, we weren't viewed as being quite as evil. It certainly made for an uncomfortable evening, to say the least.
R31, you said "Can gay people be out as couples or single people? Can they have civic or cultural impact not as "sweet uncle Bernie" but as out gays?"
In Arkansas it's a mix. I would say in some of the larger cities, definitely, but to an extent. It's tougher in politics. We had one out legislator but she retired, her name was Kathy Webb. She represented this progressive neighborhood in Little Rock called Hillcrest and it was filled with either gays or people who were ridiculously accepting. That's probably the only district that would have elected her though, in the whole state.
Then there's a little town called Eureka Springs that's a tourist trap if you ever saw one but probably 40% of the town is LGBT. It's a nice little haven in the Ozarks, but I wouldn't recommend living there unless you're a partnered eldergay; there seems to be forever a lack of young people.
I live in Fayetteville and it's a college town so it's a lot more accepting, but there are pockets of people who would definitely have issues with out leaders of the community. We had alderman elections and like three of the people running (and one who won) were gay, but none of them mentioned it ever. It would have lost them votes.
Then there are hick areas like Mountain Home and Harrison (the latter being Arkansas' home of the KKK) where I wouldn't even want to absent-mindedly place my hand on my hip because those places seem like a living hell for gays or anything other than white straight Baptists or Pentecostals.
As far as just living as an out person, I'd say except for scary parts of the north of the state (Harrison, Mountain Home) and really rural areas, I think it's safe to be out nearly everywhere in Arkansas. Maumelle is a bedroom community of Little Rock and it has a lot of gay people and the highest number of Master's degrees and up of any town in the state.
Of course I had to look up a place called Mountain Home. Sure looks pretty.
R25 / R38, I tried replying but I guess it didn't process my post. I live in Fayetteville. Being from Florida my main complaints are basically that there are fewer things to do, there's no beach (I can get over that), and there's definitely a lack of gay events. There are two bars/clubs here, and lines seem to be drawn, you either go to one or the other; very few people seem to mix well with both cliques. I wish there were more professional LGBT mixers and stuff, and they seem to not exist. There's a monthly general mixer but hardly anyone attends.
Arkansas is also SRS BSNS about drag queens. Any Mary will tell you breathlessly that Arkansas is The Birthplace of Drag Queen Pageantry (they'll tell you the whole story of the first Miss Gay America, Norma Kristie, if you feign any sort of interest). I've never seen so many people interested in the queens and the pageants and all the systems and benefits and such. I mean, I like drag queens and all, but they take it Very Seriously up here.
Also, being from an area where there are like 15 or 20 clubs in one city, and at least one bar for you no matter what you're into, it was a little awkward to do road trips for a night out just to see something different, like going to Joplin or Springfield.
R41, Are drag queens taken so seriously in AR because child and other beauty pageants seem to be part of Southern Life?
It's probably a mix of it being such a big part of the gay scene and the whole "First Miss Gay America" thing. Norma Kristie (now obviously retired) owns clubs in Little Rock and is like crazy Abby Lee Miller-like on his "girls." He owned the Miss Gay Arkansas America pageant for a really long time.
It's hilarious OP. You can create an incident without even trying, like the time my bf created in incident in the "Steak 'n Egg" in Columbus, Mississippi by complaining of a headache. Word got out that that a sick (and no doubt AIDS infected homo) from the Holiday Inn was there so they served us on paper plates, gave us some aspirin, accused us "city folk" of planning to sue them, and stared at us until we left. Of course that was the 80s.
Moved out from SF to the burbs. My experience is that there's a lot more neighborliness than in SF, and more communication between people.
You can live in the worst ghetto here and be safe. You can't in SF.
My neighborhood has an interracial couple with children, a Mormon couple with children (their kids are friends btw, and I think the IR are Obama people and Mormons were Romneyites), there's a nice Asian family with a daughter, a couple of Indian families, some elderly people, som retired people, a Latino dr & his caucasian wife and children.
And we all chat whenever (no one is good friends of course), there was also until recently a very right wing guy/family here with his 3 daughters. Oldest daughter seemed very dykey, youngest very liberal. And he loves them all.
No issues. In SF it seems much more stratified.
[quote]I live in Bossier City, Louisiana, which I believe to be the capital of redneck territory.
Paisan. Though I've lived in NYC most of my adult life, I'm temporarily in my home town of Shreveport. Most of my peers and I bolted like bats out of hell after high school and never went back except briefly during the holidays.
Although the city is still a Republican and Southern Baptist mecca (and boring as a box of hair), it's gotten more relaxed about the 21st century. For example, I never thought I'd see out gay couples living together and the neighbors don't bat an eye.
I keep a low profile and don't discuss politics with my neighbors who are very nice but also very Christian. They know I'm gay, it's just never discussed. How Southern.
I'll soon be back in NYC. One thing I will miss is manners. I've gotten used to politeness and need to grow back a shell.
R46, did you know Jim Montgomery who died a few weeks ago? He was former editor of the Times and the Journalpage, and a great community leader who was instrumental in the restoration of The Strand, and active in The Shreveport Little Theatre, and the establishment of Mardi Gras in North Lousiana. I think he was very typical of our babyboom generation, who have just discreetly lived our lives without making a big deal of "gay rights" or "coming out". Most folks around here just live and let live, as long as you are not trying to be political about it.
Jim Montgomery was gay?? I read his column for years and admired his work for the arts. Was sorry to read about his passing a few weeks ago. I haven't been here for ages and don't know about anybody's private life.
As a gayling in an awful era, I spent a lot of time escaping and working at The Shreveport Little Theatre. Good for Jim. Too bad incompetent morons have let it burn down twice.
I doubt that Jim Montgomery ever described himself as "gay". That is not something that people of our generation usually do. According to his obituary, he obviously lived alone, was found in his home by friends after he expired, and no "special friend" or "longtime companion" is named as a survivor. But even in Shreveport/Bossier, he was well regarded, appreciated as a community leader, and reached the top of his chosen profession even though he was never married, and was active in artistic pursuits, etc. If someone tries to be "gay activist" here, he might have problems. But if a person just discreetly lives his life, there is no inquisition to try to label him. Most folks in the reddest of the red areas will just live and let live.
[quote]There are two bars/clubs here, and lines seem to be drawn, you either go to one or the other;
Gay bars seem to be going away. There used to be six when I moved to this area. Now there is one and it's a filthy vermin infested pigpen peopled by unwashed hustlers and toothless emaciated drag queens. Shuddering as I type.
R8, there are numerous differences between California laws and those of a red state, say Montana, as far as they affect gay people. I would consider many of these to affect everyday life.
Employment non discrimination. California: yes, Montana: no
Housing non discrimination. California: yes, Montana: no
Second parent adoption. California: yes, Montana: no
Joint adoption. California: yes, Montana: no
School non-discrimination and anti-bullying laws: California: yes, Montana: no
Hate crimes laws: California: yes, Montana: no
California did have gay marriage, and will again long before Montana will, unless this is preempted by Federal law that affects all states.
I think the point still stands. Legal status is substantially different at a state level.
California's approval and then removal of gay marriage was just so vile... I've soured on the state from that moment on.
I think all the major Texas cities are gay meccas: Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio are full of them and nobody bats an eye.
I live in Texas and am stunned at the number of gays who vote republican, trotting forth that tired "I'm not a single-issue voter," or "I was raised republican" as their reasoning.
I am masculine and play team sports. Only the girly dudes have to worry about being bashed in Arkansas. People are cool as long as you act like a regular dude.
The manly troll has arrived!
[quote]Legal status is substantially different at a state level.
And as I pointed out upthread, such laws don't substantially make a difference in the day to day life of your average gay person. The everyday life of a gay person in, say, Austin or Atlanta doesn't look outrageously, wildly different from the day-to-day life of the gay person in, say, Providence or Sacramento due to the presence of such state laws. Such laws are wonderful and should certainly be in place everywhere, but they're mostly symbolic in terms of offering demonstrable protection or recourse for gay people imho. Have you ever known someone whose life was affected by such laws in a tangible way? Someone who was discriminated against and then the laws came into play to protect them or give them legal recourse which was unavailable to them in any other way? Do such laws really come into play in your day to day life?
[quote] stunned at the number of gays who vote republican
Yeah. Totally unheard of in NY and California. **eyeroll**
In other words, any difference between Cali and Montana doesn't really have to do with state laws. One could likely find or build a supportive progressive network in a college town or largish city in Montana or be stuck in an evangelical, Prop 8 supporting community in Cali. It all depends, as has been pointed out here numerous times.
If you like to pat yourself on the back, look down your nose, and ask irksome, disingenuous questions of gay people who live in red states, carry on, I suppose. It just seems super-queeny and facile, that's all/
[quote]nobody bats an eye
Honey, they do bat an eye.
[R55], go around downtown Fort Smith and volunteer that you suck dick, but you're so manly and play team sports. You'll still get your ass beat or go down trying to defend yourself. Stupid.
No, they don't, R59. I live in a big city in Texas, and it ain't no thang. El Paso, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and even Dallas are culturally liberal.
I lived in the Hillcrest area of Little Rock for several years. It never felt any different from the most liberal parts of any city in a blue state, totally accepting and not at all dangerous. The downtown area has also been revived to an unbelievable degree, with luxury high-rise condos and specialty shops. The central parts of the city are wonderfully walkable and livable, though the good places to eat and shop are all west of the 430, and you need a car to get out there.
What the poster above said about Arkansas being the epicenter of pageant drag is 100% true. The owner of the Miss Gay American pageant operates a series of bars and clubs located in a warehouse district near the river, and one of them has the most opulent theatre you've ever seen in a gay bar, all for the glory of the drag shows. (Those bars are now overrun with straight frat boys and violent cholos; there was even a shooting in the parking lot recently, according to friends who still live there. The bear bar in North Little Rock near Verizon Arena is a more appealing option these days on every level.)
The rest of Arkansas is frighteningly backward. Just don't even.
[quote]totally accepting and not at all dangerous
...until Katrina brought in the displaced who have ruined everything.
R41/etc., Norma Kristie (Norman Jones) has a book in the works.
People think drag is frivolous, but yes, MGA is indeed serious business, even though Norman doesn't own it anymore. They have famously high judging standards, and they'll dethrone/ban a queen in a heartbeat if she makes the system look bad (case in point: Alyssa Edwards on RPDR).
No, R63, R62 is right, the displaced from Katrina are in LR but they couldn't afford anything in Hillcrest.
For those who don't know, the Episcopal Bishops of Texas AND MIssissippi allow same sex blessings (no marriage because no state laws allow it). People here are EXTREMELY nice and most are non-judgmental. Houston is a great large city for gays - it's very much laissez-faire, great jobs, incredible culture and restaurants and VERY affordable. Once you learn how to handle the heat, it's a great place to live, love, and work.
[quote]the displaced from Katrina are in LR but they couldn't afford anything in Hillcrest.
No, I didn't mean they live there. They just commit crimes there. Also in Lakewood in NLR.
I'm not sure but I think it's the Episcopal that doesn't allow same-sex marriage but performs civil unions. I believe any church can marry same-sex couples, but the state doesn't recognize it as such if it's not legal in the state.
I could be wrong.
As others have said or indicated, a state being red or blue isn't that indicative any more -- even most of the Southern states are "purple" if you look at the county maps.
The big difference is small town vs. urban area.
My partner and I lived in the South in a good-sized city -- no issue whatsoever. After I was single I moved to Portland and Seattle for a while, where being gay wasn't a big thing, but it was also far more segregated that most of the big cities in the South. And if you drove a couple hours east of either Portland or Seattle, it wasn't that different than being in a Southern small town.
20/20 did an undercover video thing called "What Would You Do" which featured a gay couple being berated by a homophobic waitress. They filmed the other restaurant patrons to see how they'd react. Well, the Texans were the ones most likely to come to the gays' defense. More so than New Yorkers and other so-called liberal meccas.
Most Texans will not put up with assholes harassing gay people.
Good God, some of you people need to get out more. You have no idea what life is like outside your little queer ghettos, do you?
[quote]Have you ever known someone whose life was affected by such laws in a tangible way? Someone who was discriminated against and then the laws came into play to protect them or give them legal recourse which was unavailable to them in any other way? Do such laws really come into play in your day to day life?
R57, you don't think being able to adopt children makes a difference, but marriage does?
Being in a red state, in a small town area, I can't really answer your questions about whether legal recourse in cases of housing and employment discrimination make a difference, since that could only be a hypothetical situation for the people I know.
I do know people who have suffered the effects of housing and employment discrimination, as well as ones who have been victims of violent hate crimes. Additionally people are affected by things like the fear of employment discrimination.
If these things have no real impact on people you know, all I can really say is, "how nice for you."
r60 , but I don't suck dick. I like to get sucked.
As I've explained multiple times, such laws do not affect MOST gay people in a tangible demonstrable way that would make living in a state with such laws vastly, unimaginably different from a state without them. If you believe otherwise, do carry on.
My mistake, R74. You're a married straight man with "urges." Whatever.