Scene in Raleigh and Charlotte, NC?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 08, 2012 5:07 AM GMT
    So I've aimed my gaydar at NC at the suggestion of a friend along with things I've read in the past, such as explosive growth, decent cost of living, etc. I would like to make a visit sometime next month.

    I've never been to Charlotte, but flew in to the airport and ended up spending the evening in Gastonia which was way the hell out from where I wanted to be. So technically I've never been to Charlotte. All I know is there were some harsh accents LOL.

    I would like to visit both while I'm there to get a feel of each. My question, is it churchy? A lot of places are named after chapels, e.g. Chapel Hills Town homes. Country? Are people prejudice there (saying so only because it's in the part of the south that has 'history').

    I'm not trying to diss it before I even get there, but looking at the demographics on city-data.com, it certainly seems a better fit for me than where I am. Also the fairly close proximity to D.C. and New York is compelling. But mainly I'm intrigued with the explosive growth of both cities 35-45% in 10 years is a great sign meaning people actually want to go there.

    Part of me cringes at the thought of moving back to the South, but at the same time only other place I can think of is London LOL. As many people who have recommended SF, LA...I meet just as many people in person advise against it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 08, 2012 5:54 AM GMT
    I know all the areas and the gay life in NC is fairly lame. Most people meet online.

    Charlotte has the largest gay scene but I found it to be clicky. Charlotte and its county is blue but the suburbs are bright red and loaded with mega churches. It is a big country town that was once the most redneck city in the state and is not the most ostentatious. You will still find a strange mix of noveau riche and rednecks. I like Charlotte though because they have one of the best public parks in the country. The USNWC.org or whitewater center. There is a bit of a cool urban thing going on downtown in a few hangouts but it still feels like a big country town and very corporate at that.

    I would recommend Durham and Chapel Hill (referred to as greater Durham). It is very liberal. It went over 75% for Obama. Less than 40% of the population is affiliated with a religious congregation which is well below the national average of 50.2%. Durham has a large black middle class and even a street they refer to as black wall street. It is where the first black owned bank and insurance company in the nation started.

    But here is the problem. All the gay bars are in Raleigh and I get the impression they are lame but I don't go out to bars much. Just about every bar in downtown Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro is gay friendly but they are not pick up bars. They are local pubs filled with brainy eclectic types. There is a black owned cafe "BeJu" that is a must visit. It is a very casual small town unpretentious friendly scene and far from a high fashion one. If you don't meet a boyfriend online it will probably be at the Y or chatting at a pub.

    The gay pride parade is in September and the town embraces it by flying flags around the parade route. Families come out to watch and even churches have floats in the parade. Love it or not there are few places in the country like Durham:

    I can't seem to embed this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtCjnOLc-zA

    [url][/url]
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    Jan 08, 2012 9:01 AM GMT
    I lived in NC for a few years and would go to Raleigh often. It really is not much to wire home about and is everything you would expect for a mid-soze city. Legends is the biggest and most popular gay club there. Busy on weekends. it tries to portray an image of it being upscale but the people are all but. There's another gay bar across the street that hosts mostly an older crowd.

    The NC Pride takes place on the Duke campus and well....is nothing to write home about. I get the impression the RDU area is a nice place to raise a family but I wouldn't go there if you want to experience international culture.

    My 2 cents..icon_cool.gif
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    Jan 08, 2012 1:15 PM GMT
    I love it. It is a great place. NC is the most progressive state in the South.
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    Jan 08, 2012 4:11 PM GMT
    jmusmc85 saidI lived in NC for a few years and would go to Raleigh often. It really is not much to wire home about and is everything you would expect for a mid-soze city. Legends is the biggest and most popular gay club there. Busy on weekends. it tries to portray an image of it being upscale but the people are all but. There's another gay bar across the street that hosts mostly an older crowd.

    The NC Pride takes place on the Duke campus and well....is nothing to write home about. I get the impression the RDU area is a nice place to raise a family but I wouldn't go there if you want to experience international culture.

    My 2 cents..icon_cool.gif


    I would agree with everything except the international culture and the pride event. I find the pride event to be wholesome and family like which is very different from larger cities. If you like more glamour then I agree it might be disappointing. As for the international culture greater Durham, for its size, is VERY international by virtue of two world renowned Universities side by side and a number of ethnic restaurants. I hang out at the straight bars in town and always meet people from around the world. Outside the university walls you will find a significant African (mostly Kenyan) and of coarse Mexican community. No it is not NY or Miami but for a town of a few hundred thousand it is impressively international.

    The problem is every one heads to Raleigh because it is the bigger city and expect it to be like a large city but it is not. Raleigh is your typical mid-size all american city.

    Quite frankly I don't think a gay man should move to NC unless he really wants to live in a mid-size city. Mid-size cities are very family oriented. They don't have gay ghettos. I would suggest the OP go directly to Atlanta or DC.

    Another possible mid-size city is Richmond only two hours south of DC and offering the tide water area nearby. Culturally NC and VA are far more tide together than NC and SC since NC was once part of the VA colony. Virginians love to point out that the first families of NC where the second families of Virginia. So you do find more "old south" pride in Virginia than NC.

    NC was the last state to join the confederacy, while SC was the one who started the war. So today you find the whole BS that SC has about waving confederate flags above their state capital a non-issue in NC. My experience in NC is that only rednecks wave confederate flags. Interracial marriage was also allowed in NC well before the other southern states and you will find your share of interracial in Durham today.

    Alpha-muscle loves NC because he is a perfect candidate for what it can offer. He is a family man who came out late in life. NC is perfect for gay men like that. It is also great for outdoorsy types who would prefer a hike in the woods to dancing in a club. But for those who like bright lights and fashion, forget about it.

    Personally I'm a bit ambiguous. I'm in Miami part of the year and I love having a ghetto nearby even if I'm not the type to live in one. It is just nice to have significant gay population. But I relate more to the outdoorsy, athletic, intellectual, low stress culture you find in NC that is sorely missing in South Florida.
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    Jan 08, 2012 4:27 PM GMT
    I've been to Charlotte before for work. Didn't have the opportunity to check out "the scene" but it was an absolutely beautiful place to visit and would love to go back again.

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    Jan 08, 2012 4:48 PM GMT
    My BF lives in the area + neither of us are into the scene but it has a huge gay population and the gays all seem to know each other, it's kinda creepy icon_razz.gif (He has two friends that are VERY 'scene' so unfortunately we've been stuck in that crowd)

    Overall, i've found the entire place to be amazingly social, fun, and beautiful. I love going out to restaurants in that area - there's nothing like a good southern restaurant. We don't have hospitality like that ANYWHERE up here.

    Accents? Well personally i love the accents! It's not serious redneck (I mean, this isn't tennessee folks *shudders*)

    Very friendly crowd, very pretty city, beautiful skyline at night, and a much bigger gay population than anywhere I've lived (not saying much lol)
  • a303guy

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    Jan 08, 2012 5:13 PM GMT
    Since you're in Denver now, if you do move to Raleigh do expect it to be a move back towards, if not in, the closet, comparatively speaking. I myself lived in Denver for 7 years, and am still in CO.

    I grew up in NC, on either side of Raleigh, (Wilson and Mebane) so I know the area well. My family is still there, as well as some of my gay and straight friends. I return to the state at least once a year, so I've stayed in contact with what it's like there.

    I'm not an expert on the Charlotte scene, so I wont speak to that. Yes, as others have posted here, the remaining clubs in central NC are in Raleigh, and, as is typical of gay clubs in the south, the entry doors are nearly always locked, and you still need to have a 'membership' to get in - unlike Denver which is far more progressive (and normal) in that regard.

    As someone else posted here - NC in general is much more progressive than other states in the south - but the point is, its still the south. And with that comes the usual political and religious hypocritical bullshit that drove me damn near out of my mind.

    Yes, its a beautiful state. Yes, Durham (not Raleigh or Charlotte) is the most progressive city in the state. Yes, the food is great (and fattening) Yes, there is typical 'southern hospitality' (until they figure out what you really are).

    My advice - you've experienced true freedom in Denver. Consider, and appreciate that strongly before moving to NC.
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    Jan 10, 2012 6:15 AM GMT
    friendormate saidOutside the university walls you will find a significant African (mostly Kenyan) and of coarse Mexican community. No it is not NY or Miami but for a town of a few hundred thousand it is impressively international.


    That's the question I was gonna ask. Charlotte and Raleigh seem to have the same % and number of Hispanic people as Denver has Black. Which is small percentage wise, but doesn't mean you'll never see any. Just means you will have to 'look' for them LOL. And I was going to ask what type of Hispanics are there living in N.C. Being close to the N.E. I thought it'd be Puerto Rican, but being in the deep south it makes more sense that they'd be Mexican (e.g. like Latino populations in Georgia, Louisiana, etc.)

    a303guy saidSince you're in Denver now, if you do move to Raleigh do expect it to be a move back towards, if not in, the closet, comparatively speaking. I myself lived in Denver for 7 years, and am still in CO.

    My advice - you've experienced true freedom in Denver. Consider, and appreciate that strongly before moving to NC.


    OK-k-kay...maybe not then. I don't want to jump from a pot of boiling water to a pot of hot grease LOL.

    jmusmc85 saidThe NC Pride takes place on the Duke campus and well....is nothing to write home about. I get the impression the RDU area is a nice place to raise a family but I wouldn't go there if you want to experience international culture


    I won't include Pride Events. I know they're all just big fuck fests in most any city. And the wacky tacky clown costumes are so played.
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    Jan 10, 2012 6:31 AM GMT
    friendormate said
    Quite frankly I don't think a gay man should move to NC unless he really wants to live in a mid-size city. Mid-size cities are very family oriented. They don't have gay ghettos. I would suggest the OP go directly to Atlanta or DC.


    Oh Gawd, please spare me! I never been to D.C. but certainly wouldn't move to Atlanta. Visited there, done that...Along with Macon, Valdosta, Tifton...GACK! I know a lot of people like to mention ALLLLLL the successful Black people out of Atlanta, which is true; but few are really interested in seeing their fellow Black man to the next level with them...more like crabs in a bucket and a "fuck you I'm rich now, get your own nigga!" attitude.

    I have to be in a place that's much more diverse...And not majority Black.

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    Jan 10, 2012 6:33 AM GMT
    It's the SOUTH!!!

    *Right To Work State
    *Red State - Not sure if that is a make or break for you
    *Part of the Bible Belt

    Oh yeah, did I say It's the SOUTH!!!????


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    Jan 10, 2012 6:37 AM GMT
    ssguy69 saidIt's the SOUTH!!!

    *Right To Work State
    *Red State - Not sure if that is a make or break for you
    *Part of the Bible Belt

    Oh yeah, did I say It's the SOUTH!!!????




    Sounds like Florida where I'm originally from LOL. But you could be out of the blue (no pun intended) when in South Florida...but not THAT much out the blue. Personally, the only part of Florida that didn't feel like the south was along the beaches between Halouver and Key Biscayne. A mere 15 miles or so. Which is the hope I'd have for N.C.

    What about what I been hearing about all the northeastern corporations moving to Raleigh, Charlotte? Wouldn't it make it feel more 'northern?' Like even a little bit?
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    Jan 10, 2012 6:51 AM GMT
    TallJock said
    ssguy69 saidIt's the SOUTH!!!

    *Right To Work State
    *Red State - Not sure if that is a make or break for you
    *Part of the Bible Belt

    Oh yeah, did I say It's the SOUTH!!!????




    Sounds like Florida where I'm originally from LOL. But you could be out of the blue (no pun intended) when in South Florida...but not THAT much out the blue. Personally, the only part of Florida that didn't feel like the south was along the beaches between Halouver and Key Biscayne. A mere 15 miles or so. Which is the hope I'd have for N.C.

    What about what I been hearing about all the northeastern corporations moving to Raleigh, Charlotte? Wouldn't it make it feel more 'northern?' Like even a little bit?


    They're moving there because wages are lower and labor laws are skewed towards big enterprise instead of worker rights.
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    Jan 11, 2012 5:55 PM GMT
    TallJock said
    ssguy69 saidIt's the SOUTH!!!

    *Right To Work State
    *Red State - Not sure if that is a make or break for you
    *Part of the Bible Belt

    Oh yeah, did I say It's the SOUTH!!!????




    Sounds like Florida where I'm originally from LOL. But you could be out of the blue (no pun intended) when in South Florida...but not THAT much out the blue. Personally, the only part of Florida that didn't feel like the south was along the beaches between Halouver and Key Biscayne. A mere 15 miles or so. Which is the hope I'd have for N.C.

    What about what I been hearing about all the northeastern corporations moving to Raleigh, Charlotte? Wouldn't it make it feel more 'northern?' Like even a little bit?


    Yes it does. In the area around downtown Charlotte when some one says they are from there people look at them with a surprise. Cary a suburb of Raleigh is jokingly called Containment Area for Relocated Yankees. But many of these northerners are corporate types and often vote republican.

    Actually NC is historically more blue than you think. Senators are usually split (one red one blue) Gov has almost always been a democrat but that could change given the bad economy. This has helped the state establish a strong environmental movement and it is still the only southern state to not have a clause in the constitution banning gay marriage. That could change because the state was red mapped during the last election giving the republicans control of both chambers for the first time since reconstruction. And the slime buckets put the referendum on the date of the republican primary so good luck with that.

    In the national elections it typically votes red. When it went for Obama the Republicans were outraged. Corporate money poured into local elections and red mapped the state. There was a great article about that in the New Yorker:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/10/10/111010fa_fact_mayer

    In answer to your other question when it comes to Latinos you see mostly mexicans. There are others but they are fully assimilated and speak english so well it would be tough to know where they're from.

    Given your age I can't recommend it. It's a good place for someone in their 40s or 50s who is fed up with big city gay life. NC has a lot to offer and is among the best places to live in the south but it is still the south. The closeted element gets on my nerves but it has an upside. A lot of men come out late in life so that refreshes the dating pool after 40. Most of these men have children and I find them to be more stable than a lot of gay men.

    If you're not into Atlanta, what about DC or somewhere close by? If you don't like the size of DC, you might like Maryland's capital city Annapolis, for example. Beautiful city on a harbor with the Naval Academy in town and close to both DC and Baltimore. I doubt it has much of a gay scene though. But it is also halfway between DC and Rahoboth Beach De which is like the P-Town of the mid-atlantic.

  • scsexibro

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    Jan 16, 2012 2:54 AM GMT
    I have lived in Charlotte and Raleigh.
    I must say I fell in love with Charlotte. I am probably bias in that while I was in Charlotte I had a FT job but in the Raleigh Durham area, i was a student and worked part-time.
    I partied on a regular basis in both gay and straight clubs.

    When I wanted some gay night life, I would go to chasers (an old men's bar) and get me a good lap dance for $ 20. The scene was laid back jeans and tshirt. The next night I would go to Epicentre and dress up and just hang out. The Epicentre has a number of straight bars and clubs but trust me there are so bicurious or gay dudes just hanging out with friends.

    The are black gay clubs: FACES, the Nickel bar, and others. Just check a4a's party section for the new clubs in Charlotte.

    Charlotte is more conservative but there is more to do.
    Sports (football and bball pro teams)

    Major entertainers come to Charlotte but Raleigh seems to be preferred b/c there is a large college pop. Also, durham is close to draw from. Other towns also come to Raleigh like greensboro.
    Charlotte does NOT draw in much people from upstate sc to fill seats.


    I must say though that I when I was in charlotte, I had more sex. In raleigh, I actually dated dudes. The guys there are more laid back. And more intellectual. In charlotte, I could not find very many local bookstores.
    Again, this is just my personal experience.

    If it means anything, Raleigh, surprisingly has a couple "adult bookstores" to help you get your fix. There you will find married men, gay men, college students, military dudes... whatever. Charlotte does not have them.