Rural vs. City gays

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 17, 2010 5:18 AM GMT
    I read the thread "How far would you travel" out of curiosity, as I don't hook up.

    However, a previous poster in that thread brought up an even more interesting topic (well to me anyway) about the difference between rural and city gays. There are HUGE differences. I can think of several off hand.

    First, is the sense of community. Rainbow paraphernalia is passe in the city (from what I've seen), but it's great to see in the small towns. When you see someone with a rainbow sticker on the back of their car, you honk and wave. And they wave back. We get together for social gatherings (yes, with all the drama that entails) of all sorts. From camping, to brunch, to wine tastings, to bon fires, it's just about getting together and being with other gays. There are no gay bars in small towns.

    Second, is travel. In order to have a date, or "go clubbing" you often have to travel. Around here, it's a typical weekend when someone's off to Seattle to have a good time. That's six hours away. A single person will often do that about every other week.

    Anyway. I'll stop there, since I'm trying to elicit some discussion.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 17, 2010 11:52 AM GMT
    I grew up in a really small town. It was always a treat to see a rainbow sticker on someones car. And when us gays got together, and took interest in one another we really appreciated the opportunity. All the time we would make a 3 hour drive to the nearest large city so we could be out all night. (which sucked having to drive all the way back)

    Once I moved to the city.. gay guys became more disposable. The community sense seemed to leave. Ease of accessibility I guess.
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    May 17, 2010 12:11 PM GMT
    KentuckyTuss saidOnce I moved to the city.. gay guys became more disposable. The community sense seemed to leave. Ease of accessibility I guess.



    You are right about that, though I don't think it's because gay guys became "disposable" (though I think I understand what you're trying to say). I think gay men who live in large cities, especially a gay-friendly one like Boston, simply become part of the norm and therefore feel a part of the community at large. Less of a need to be surrounded with those like us because it's a part of everyday life. Yes, the "community" isn't what it used to be, you see it everywhere - there are only a couple of exclusively gay spots in my city. There are gay nights at the big clubs but even those, like Saturday nights at House of Blues, are very mixed. But everybody seems to be comfortable. The part of town that is considered the gay neighborhood is also really mixed now, too. There just isn't a need to segregate anymore.

    My two cents.

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    May 17, 2010 12:22 PM GMT
    I am learning the "rural" guy and it's like dealing with a foreigner!
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    May 17, 2010 12:29 PM GMT
    a1972guy saidI am learning the "rural" guy and it's like dealing with a foreigner!


    I can tutor you, having grown up in a town of 25,000 and once lived in a community of 970. I speak both rural and urban! icon_smile.gif
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    May 17, 2010 12:30 PM GMT
    lissenup said
    a1972guy saidI am learning the "rural" guy and it's like dealing with a foreigner!


    I can tutor you, having grown up in a town of 25,000 and once lived in a community of 970. I speak both rural and urban! icon_smile.gif


    I know you could! Because of this "teaching", I'm headed back to city life!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 17, 2010 12:39 PM GMT
    Growing up on a farm I know the difference to a townie and a city kid too; sadly many city kids feel they are bettericon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gificon_wink.gif I've now done the whole 3. From the farm I have the ability to be on my own, but never be lonely. From the town I have a sense of community, and the city a sense of independence where I can go in to the city and have unanimity.
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    May 17, 2010 12:39 PM GMT
    a1972guy said
    lissenup said
    a1972guy saidI am learning the "rural" guy and it's like dealing with a foreigner!


    I can tutor you, having grown up in a town of 25,000 and once lived in a community of 970. I speak both rural and urban! icon_smile.gif


    I know you could! Because of this "teaching", I'm headed back to city life!


    I'm sure you'd scare the locals!
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    May 17, 2010 12:41 PM GMT
    lissenup said
    a1972guy said
    lissenup said
    a1972guy saidI am learning the "rural" guy and it's like dealing with a foreigner!


    I can tutor you, having grown up in a town of 25,000 and once lived in a community of 970. I speak both rural and urban! icon_smile.gif


    I know you could! Because of this "teaching", I'm headed back to city life!


    I'm sure you'd scare the locals!


    I think I did!
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    May 17, 2010 12:41 PM GMT
    DjDorchester said
    KentuckyTuss saidOnce I moved to the city.. gay guys became more disposable. The community sense seemed to leave. Ease of accessibility I guess.



    You are right about that, though I don't think it's because gay guys became "disposable" (though I think I understand what you're trying to say). I think gay men who live in large cities, especially a gay-friendly one like Boston, simply become part of the norm and therefore feel a part of the community at large. Less of a need to be surrounded with those like us because it's a part of everyday life. Yes, the "community" isn't what it used to be, you see it everywhere - there are only a couple of exclusively gay spots in my city. There are gay nights at the big clubs but even those, like Saturday nights at House of Blues, are very mixed. But everybody seems to be comfortable. The part of town that is considered the gay neighborhood is also really mixed now, too. There just isn't a need to segregate anymore.

    My two cents.



    /agree
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    May 17, 2010 12:54 PM GMT
    yes there is a difference - I noticed that when I got to college. To me, "rural gay guys" seem more 'down to earth' more often than not, while the city guys seem not to be. Yeah, I know it sounds stereotypical, but in my experience, it is true more often than not. I also think that urban gay guy 'attitudes' are relative to a particular urban area... none are the same. That being said, some urban guys are more fun to be around than others. I also don't think 'urban' guys know what it is like to have to travel to date someone (for instance). I HATE the 4-5 hour drives... and this is coming from someone who likes to travel... icon_neutral.gif
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    May 17, 2010 1:03 PM GMT
    I've lived in both worlds and each has its merits and its demerits. When I lived in smaller communities, we would get together as a group quite frequently comprised of gay men and a few women. However, I didn't always feel comfortable and felt pressure to conform. There were times that I felt the only thing I had in common with them was that we were gay. I also don't like everybody knowing my business and it can be very difficult to have a private life in a rural place.

    I brought my partner home to visit and one of the first things he noticed was that most of the conversations focused negatively on other people who weren't there at the time.

    I find that in the city I can be anonymous when I want to be, but I can also develop close friendships with people who share some of my same interests. It's really nice to have discussions about politics, art, movies, the environment, literature, music, history, fitness, etc. I don't feel the pressure to be something I'm not and that I don't feel like I'm weird anymore. In fact, I feel a little too normal in New York whereas I felt like a complete misfit in the Midwest.
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    May 17, 2010 1:17 PM GMT
    Location location location. Well.....I don't see it exactly that black and white, but location does seem to play in terms of the kind of guy you meet. The gay mecca in the Cleveland area is Lakewood. If you meet a gay guy from Cleveland I would say there would be a fifty percent chance he is living in Lakewood.

    A few years ago I had a summer where all the dates from online were dates from hell. These are beyond bad dates, that, had both parties been sane, would have never have taken place. I started to realize that any gay I try to date from Lakewood usually ends in a horrible date, that is, if they even show up for the date. Catty, rude, condescending, fake, pretentious, jaded, and emotionally unstable(crying, pleading, yelling). Yes, three guys ended up crying on me during the first date that summer.

    So I swore off of dating guys from Lakewood. So far, I have never met a guy from Lakewood that would have me considering breaking that rule. Kinda sad.
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    May 17, 2010 1:27 PM GMT
    Rural communities tend to have a local mindset of what's considered "normal;" and if you don't fit that local mindset, they shun you...behind your back, of course, and be nice to your face.

    The cities I've lived in have been quite the opposite. No matter how unconventional your lifestyle may be, you can find like-minded people to hang with and fit in.
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    May 17, 2010 1:34 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidRural communities tend to have a local mindset of what's considered "normal;" and if you don't fit that local mindset, they shun you...behind your back, of course, and be nice to your face.


    AMEN!
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    May 17, 2010 3:22 PM GMT
    I've lived in Boise, Denver, Vancouver, and San Francisco in the last 5 years and grew up in a town of 2,000 people in the rural mountain west. In my opinion, in larger cities gay men don't become more "disposable," they just become less glorified because there's more of them. In smaller cities, there are so few other gay men one feels compelled to befriend them well knowing they're a rarified minority. In larger cities, that's simply not the case.

    Imagine being stuck on an island with one other person. Then imagine being stuck on an island with 20 other people. Your choices of expanded.

    God I get so fed up with people assuming gay men are arrogant and dispose of others when in fact, they're probably just being discerning with who they surround themselves with... which is healthy in my opinion.
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    May 17, 2010 4:15 PM GMT
    I think all you prior posters have hit on an aspect of each. While everybody does know your business (or think they do), it's nice to have a community that cares. The catty stuff does happen, but if a person is too negative, they get shunned (who wants to hang out with a negative nelly, after all?) I like walking down the sidewalk and having someone smile at me, or when I smile at a stranger they don't think I have a mental problem. lol

    Another thing I've noticed is that the "nelly" gay is very infrequent in small communities. I think that comes from a survival/defense mechanism. If you're TOO (whatever-insert something interesting here), then the heterosexual community will ostracize you, or in really small towns your life may be in danger.
  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2382

    May 17, 2010 4:15 PM GMT
    I think most people, regardless of sexuality, decide they like city life during their young years. As they grow older, the city becomes less attractive and they move to suburbs. Although, now a days a lot of people are staying in cities and even moving into them. For gay people, maybe they like the city because it is a little more liberal and "open."

    Again, regardless of sexuality, I have found that small town men are way sweeter and more caring than city men. There are always exceptions though
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    May 17, 2010 4:33 PM GMT
    I'm not a large city person. It's nice enough to visit for a bit, but I wouldn't want to live in one long term.
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    May 17, 2010 4:33 PM GMT
    Jmuscle33 said I have found that small town men are way sweeter and more caring than city men. There are always exceptions though



    Glad you added that last sentence, because I think your observation is way overly generalized.

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    May 17, 2010 7:48 PM GMT
    (huge broad sweeping generality here). City gays tend to be more materalistic and vain. Rural gays are more down to earth and alot less "plastic."
  • mtneerman

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    May 17, 2010 8:11 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidRural communities tend to have a local mindset of what's considered "normal;" and if you don't fit that local mindset, they shun you...behind your back, of course, and be nice to your face.


    i live in a small town, and i completely agree. there is no caring gay community here, they just get together for sex. since i don't hook up everyone said i thought i was too good for them. i have't had any gay friends in town for years.
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    May 17, 2010 8:11 PM GMT
    catfish5 said(huge broad sweeping generality here). City gays tend to be more materalistic and vain. Rural gays are more down to earth and alot less "plastic."


    I agree, though there are exceptions. Having lived in rural areas most of my life and traveling on occasion to cities - I've found that guys in the city tend to be more jaded and cliquish than rural gays.

    I think rural gays tend to appreciate each individual - even if they aren't "porn-perfect"... maybe it's because we're out here on our own. Of course - it could just be me. icon_smile.gif
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    May 17, 2010 8:20 PM GMT
    Loki1969 said
    catfish5 said(huge broad sweeping generality here). City gays tend to be more materalistic and vain. Rural gays are more down to earth and alot less "plastic."


    I agree, though there are exceptions. Having lived in rural areas most of my life and traveling on occasion to cities - I've found that guys in the city tend to be more jaded and cliquish than rural gays.

    I think rural gays tend to appreciate each individual - even if they aren't "porn-perfect"... maybe it's because we're out here on our own. Of course - it could just be me. icon_smile.gif



    Seriously... isn't this the difference between ANYBODY living in large urban areas compared to country people???? Are you certain that you're not the jaded one? Kinda sounds that way...


  • metta

    Posts: 39159

    May 17, 2010 8:51 PM GMT