Gay Ghetto's?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 15, 2009 2:39 PM GMT
    I am getting ready to start my work day and something that has cropped up in my mind a few times this past year popped into my head again this morning. So I figured I would start a topic on it and see what others view points and experiences are.

    The Gay Ghetto.

    I have been back in Atlanta now for about a year and a half. I lived in the mountains of East Tennessee for about 6.5 years. I moved there when I was 23 from Atlanta because I had fallen in love. Now, being back and interacting with gay's again in my 30's I find myself scratching my head often. After living in a place where I only socialized with heterosexuals of all ages and backgrounds and experiences, how is it that [there] having meaningful conversation with men and women was easier than it is here? I felt like I grew so much in that environment because it required me to think about things in a broader context. Often. Where as here with a predominantly gay social circle conversations are flat and revolve around 2 or 3 topics. Any deviation from approved topics results in either: a redirection to the same 2 or 3 topics; a judgmental or condemning snarl; or awkward silence followed by a cold shoulder?

    The only answer that I can come up with is, gay ghettos, like all ghettos, stifle personal growth in character, makes dissent very difficult and limits outside idea from coming in. Pretty much creating a myopic community, an echo chamber of sort. Everything has to be a certain way.

    Most gay men congregate with one another for all the various reasons that push us to do so at a fairly young age. In cities it is easy to only live in a "gay" world. If young gay men only interact with other gay young men....as they age and only interact socially with the same men; At what point does maturity actually happen when sophomoric behavior reigns king/queen?

    I can write much more about this and my experience but I am more interested in what your observations, and experiences have been around this subject?

  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Oct 15, 2009 2:54 PM GMT
    atlanta is VERY "clickish". the converstaions all seem to revolve around how much money you make, what kind of car you drive...very plastic and surface and fake.

    come visit new orleans, gafuzz! we are more accepting and friendly and flexable that that bunch of uptight, fake, plastic queens you are trying to chat with in "hotlanta" (NOT).
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    Oct 15, 2009 4:35 PM GMT
    Solution: Don't be friends with boring people.
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    Oct 16, 2009 1:21 PM GMT
    wow. This must have been one of the non approved topics. Interesting.
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    Oct 16, 2009 1:28 PM GMT
    GaFuzz saidwow. This must have been one of the non approved topics. Interesting.

    In part it is (see my other post about Gay Ghettos where I compared Boy's Town to Le Marais and got my head chopped off because I drew the conclusion that Muslim gays in Paris used le Marais like Blacks do in Boy's Town. People called me racist, ignorant, a bigot all because I said "black" and "ghetto" in the same sentence) and in part your conclusion is just. Any sort of social isolation is going to hinder growth.
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    Oct 16, 2009 1:30 PM GMT
    "After living in a place where I only socialized with heterosexuals of all ages and backgrounds and experiences, how is it that [there] having meaningful conversation with men and women was easier than it is here? I felt like I grew so much in that environment because it required me to think about things in a broader context. Often. Where as here with a predominantly gay social circle conversations are flat and revolve around 2 or 3 topics. Any deviation from approved topics results in either: a redirection to the same 2 or 3 topics; a judgmental or condemning snarl; or awkward silence followed by a cold shoulder?"

    I can't relate to any of this at all, so, maybe if you could give an example or two, we could have a non-flat discussion about it.
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    Oct 16, 2009 1:36 PM GMT
    There are also the non-car driving ghettos, such as New York and San Francisco, where people never venture outside. There are the rural/small town ghettos, where people could never negotiate the traffic in a big city. There are the suburban ghettos, where people manage to only socialize with others like them (i.e. couple with toddlers hang with other couples with toddlers, retirees hang with other retirees, "professionals" hang with other "professionals", etc.), then there are the inner city ghettos that we all know about as ghettos.

    All these types of geographic isolation limit people's social opportunities and therefore their personal growth. But in each of these places there are many people who defy that geographic isolation and manage to have a wider social circle. It's not where you live, but how you choose to socialize.
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Oct 16, 2009 1:37 PM GMT
    I can see a future where the gay ghetto no longer exists because we will have full inclusion in the broader society. Boys are taking their boyfriends to the prom in Kansas - Kansas!!! - for God's sake these days. There will come a time when the necessity to segregate will be gone...
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    Oct 16, 2009 1:45 PM GMT
    haha,

    up here i think the ghetto is maybe not quite as stifled as what you described in Atlanta. ( never been there).

    The ghetto is about what defines homosexuality , so we're reminded all the time and i don't have a problem with that, but i don't live there.

    It's like if you go to a country music festival you don't expect to listen to Bach and discuss Schopenhauer.

    So your choice to hangout there depends on your interest to immerse yourself in that world.

    I couldn't live in the ghetto because i too need a broader spectrum of "interaction".i get too curious.
    Plus it's an uninspiring environment for mountain biking, running, xc skiing and i prefer watching my beautiful lake while having breakfast.

    but it's fun to visit, go clubbing, eating out... amongst other places , areas.


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    Oct 16, 2009 2:01 PM GMT
    I lived in a "gay ghetto". Didn't like it one bit. I found myself interacting with a much broader range of friends and I am much happier because of it. Although I did enjoy being in an area that was more "welcoming". I also saw low quality of life, low expectations, and a depressing drug enduced culture that I don't need to be a part of. I am not trying to sound negative or against it. Just saying that it is not for me.
    good post!
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    Oct 17, 2009 3:01 PM GMT
    [quote][

    I can't relate to any of this at all, so, maybe if you could give an example or two, we could have a non-flat discussion about it.[/quote]

    I think this forum is a perfect example of the OP
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    Oct 17, 2009 3:44 PM GMT
    GaFuzz saidwow. This must have been one of the non approved topics. Interesting.


    It is. And you are feeling the weight of the mighty gay ghetto here on RJ. icon_razz.gif

    You are supposed to toe the line. No deviation allowed icon_razz.gif
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    Oct 17, 2009 5:58 PM GMT
    everyone does not cross the finish line in the journey of life. Some cross the finish line and some spectate on the side lines commenting on those that make an effort to go the distance. Either can be found on the str8 side as well as the gay side. The most important thing is to not let the spectators steer you of course
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    Oct 17, 2009 6:29 PM GMT
    For us Gen X ( late thirties early forties) gay guys living in Nashville going to Atlanta is like going to "Big City Fun Time Park." See you at Pride/Halloween this year-lol!

    The gayboorhood in Nashville is a mix of races, income levels, gay couples,strait couples and the elderly. It is mostly left leaning. I love it.

    Midtown Atlanta is much more urban/gay. It's great to visit ,but I would have a hard time living there unless I was surronded by my close friends plus have lots of money.

    Conversations in the Atlanta scene are surface,myopic (to steal you word OP) and revolve around stuff, especially in the club scene. Let's face it, You're not going to get into a deep conversation at a fancy Atlanta restaurant at a table of six to eight gay guys.

    Another topic I hear alot is the "who had the most fun or wild night out last night." To me this type of conversation is fine. It fits the time and situation. You're out and about having fun.

    My deepest conversations about life/death/hopes/dreams are reservred for my best friends usually in a group of two or three. Most times they happen in a car!

    GAFuzz - there are some cool, deep gay guys in the Atlanta gay scene. I hope you run across a few who you can build a deep social circle with.

    On a side note - one of my most grounded, spiritual friends lives in a skyrise right off the Park. ATL. REPRESENT!




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    Oct 17, 2009 6:42 PM GMT
    Ever see the show on Bravo - "Housewives of Atlanta"? That's what I imagine the gay community to be - full of drama and clickish. Seems to work for a majority but not my gig.
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    Oct 17, 2009 6:57 PM GMT
    Simple minds don't like the challenge so they prefer to keep it simple.

    But unlike the adage of "keep it simple stupid"... it is actually a bad thing here... It's like they are afraid to leave 'base" or something.

    And to compound that problem.. simple minds = small minds and those tend to congregate in heavy numbers and so you end up with no growth and therefore flat conversations about nonsense.

    Sad really, which is why in San Diego's gay ghetto, Hillcrest, you routinely find gay people "educating" the gay people of the ghetto about Prop 8 and why it's bad.

    You don't win like that... you have to educate those who don't live there and leave your gay enclave, your safety blanket...


  • jgymnast733

    Posts: 1783

    Oct 17, 2009 9:01 PM GMT
    WOW, great topic,,,
    I enjoy talking about the real estate market and current events but the topic always ventures back to my body or a new club with my fellow gay brethren. So i tend to only hang with my close friends to avoid the mindless dribble of limited experience...Sad but true.......
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    Oct 17, 2009 9:09 PM GMT
    . . . I mourn the ghettoized apostrophe . . .