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Gay in an intolerant area..
Hey y'all..

so.. I'm sort of at a loss today about something that happened yesterday. I suppose I have to predicate this with the fact that I tend to "make a mountain out of a mole hill" (whatever a mole hill is..) so a lot of my thoughts on this event are perceived and speculative.

I live west of ATL in a rural area of town. I have a simple house in a small neighborhood that, before the economy went south.. was a nice quiet place to live.

Now.. 3.5 years later, I've lived here longer than any of my neighbors.

Yesterday my neighbor next door dropped in, he was interested in the firewood in my back yard. It's been there for years. I have a gas fireplace now so I don't ever use it.

Well I got to talking to the guy, he's my age and barely hanging onto his home.

now forgive me here.. because I'm stereotyping, but let me tell you after living in west GA for 4 years.. stereotypes exist for a reason.

This guy is your traditional.. well.. "redneck." He has lots of loud cars and ATVs and other toys like that.. he's the religious type.. as are my neighbors on the other side of me..

We got to talking and I actually really found myself more than anything.. afraid of this guy.. because I didn't want to drift into uncomfortable topics of conversation about women etc. which has already happened with my other neighbor. With my other neighbor I dodged it.

Anyway.. I hope this post makes sense to y'all. Long story short, this area isn't going to be tolerant.. I know it. I don't mind my house, and if I could move at all because of this economy it'd be very difficult so I want to avoid that.. but I don't feel safe around these people.. and they keep trying to get close to me and to make me part of their community.. something I'm very uncomfortable with.

What should I do? Should I take extreme measures and set my focus on trying to move to a neighborhood that's more progressive and accepting? (These people are even racist.. there's only 2 families in this neighborhood that aren't white and my neighbors accuse them of everything under the sun. It's ridiculous!) Or should I suck it up and deal with it? ... and if that's the case.. how do I do that?

I'm dating.. if I start having guys over they may not think anything of it but.. I just don't want to be in a situation where I am of sorts.. living among people who hate me enough that they might take actions.. even subtle ones.

last halloween someone spraypainted the side of my parents truck when they were visiting me.. so I know the people here aren't above vandalism.. if they knew I was gay they might be more motivated to do this kind of thing with more choice words and more than just cars..
I am taking into consideration everything you are taking into consideration and that is what I am basing my response on....

Obviously the best solution would be to move but since that is not an option..take the path of least resistance. Not letting them know you are gay is the smartest decision because if you choose to let them know then there will most likely be consequences.

One of my favorite pieces of wisdom I have treasured pretty much my whole life...choose your battles carefully....and I do. I would advise you to do the same and dont' fool yourself...letting them know you are gay is more likely than not engaging them in battle.
Hi Dville.

The best option is move and soon. If you can't, then I suggest the following course of action..

Its like becoming a secret agent in enemy territory, you need to build a cover story to start with.
Single but looking, leave a couple of photos of girls around the place. If you have any female friends, personal or work, just invite them for coffee. You dont need to make out you have a girlfiend but any female around the place will help your cover.
Any guys your neighbours see are work buddies or distant relations, making sure your folks are not around to blow your story. Be friendly to your neighbours but keep them away from the home as much as possible, also don't leave any evidence of your gay life lying around.
Until the day you move out you need to have a double life, a gay one and a straight one. Good luck m8.

Many gay people could probably make good field agents.
thanks guys.

I didn't think anything of this until a few months ago when my neighbor and her sister were standing in the driveway chatting while I worked on cleaning out my garage. I had both my cars out and was getting ready to pull them in. They commented on me losing weight (I've lost like half my weight..) and then one of them asked about "the girl" I had over a few days prior. (a friend's wife. and he was here too.. but they didn't see him I guess??)

I was honest with them about it.. and they said something to the effect of "we never see any girls over at your place, just guys and your parents sometimes."

it'd be nice to live in a community with other gay people and just say "na, I'm gay" or something and put an end to it.

I don't mind being "in the closet" so much as it's not something I have to consciously do.. but I don't like questions like that...
If it makes any difference...I live in a really liberal open area and I know most of my neighbors are gay friendly as I have gathered in passing over the years and I do not let my neighbors know I am gay (but I don't necessarily hide it)...I like to keep it light and friendly but at arm's length with all my neighbors...don't like to know any kind of gossip or personal information about any of them and I expect the same in return and I have lived next door to some of them for 10-20 years...I think it is better that way.

I have some friends who are embroiled in their neighbors business...I am horrified even listening to them tell me about it LOL
Wow that has to suck Sad I live in Georgetown South Carolina so I know how you feel about being scared of actions being taken against you its frightening Sad
If you don't feel safe in your own home, then I think you you make saving money and looking for a new job, so you can live elsewhere a priority. If the neighbours might only dislike you and shun you, it depends how much you care about that.

In the meantime I would suggest 'keeping yourself to yourself', it minimises the opportunity for awkward questions. I'd also suggest having female friends visit you from time to time is no bad thing.

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
I used to live in GA RUN dont walk RUN
Atlanta itself has a gay community within it that does quite well.

the state itself however and the rural areas like the one I am in are extremely conservative and tend to err on what I call the "christian conservative" side. You know.. the whole abomination thing.. and all the other bible quotes they like to throw at you..

I havne't had any such interaction with these people.. and I would imagine they wouldn't be confrontational about it unless I provoked them.. but.. they're not taught to be tolerant people out here.. they're raised on the bible.. and despite it's religious implications on judgment.. this is often ignored as I've found by more religious people in my life here in GA.. and can often be to the detriment of people around them via outright criticisms.. and of course.. political decision making.

I have a friend that's very deeply religious and I think accuratley reflects the mindset of the people around me in this neighborhood.

2 of my friends are gay and moved to Oregon to escape the southeastern culture. During a conversation with her and her husband and a good friend of mine in her car while on vacation, she expressed her perspective that men cannot have loving relationships with one another, and only do physical things because they are desperate. She blamed drugs for an insanity induced "fetish" of attraction.. and said that she felt sorry for my friends for straying from god.

.. I would like to move to another region to be honest.. but I believe the city of atlanta is fine overall.. It's just the area of the city that I live in that's the problem.

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