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Move into the Local Gaybourhood

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by OnTheHighway, Aug 26, 2020.

  1. OnTheHighway

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    At the end of last year I took some time to make a few fundamental life decisions (as if I had not been doing that for the past 10 years on my journey) relating to my Career, my Relationships and my Hometown. Having made decisions for each, I have spent this year acting on them. And just prior to the Covid crisis breakout, I acted on my hometown decision and moved into the local gaybourhood.

    Since embracing my sexuality I had contemplated, but was always skeptical, of living directly in the gaybourhood. While I worked to get involved in the gay community socially and philanthropically I had negative perceptions of the people within the gaybourhood. In many respects, and in retrospect, I have concluded that such negative perceptions were the result of internalized homophobia. In a nutshell, I did not want to be perceived as living amongst the queens and flamboyant stereotypes nor associate myself with the perceived partying lifestyle of the community directly within. Additionally, I was not confident that I would fit in nor be able to establish a social circle consistent with my own interests and lifestyle. I recall even having a debate with @OGS after I spent a night in town for a meal some time ago.

    So at the end of the year I decided I no longer enjoyed living on the fringes (although with easy access) and a few months after the decision I found myself in a new home within the gaybourhood. Even in the age of Covid, I have managed to entrench myself in the local community and have begun to grow roots which I suspect will make this my forever home this point forward. I have found the community to be vibrant and diverse. While some of my perceptions were validated (of course there are many people that like to have fun), I have found a good number of residents that are both work and family oriented in similar ways as my own. While living outside the town my own internalized homophobia was inhibiting my ability to see that a broader community existed, actually living here has help me continue to resolve the remnants of internalized homophobia as I make myself vulnerable and engage with the broader community.

    Even with the current social distancing and half capacity outdoor restaurant dining, I have found the gaybourhood a great place to call home!
     
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  2. brainwashed

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    This is good news.
     
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  3. Contented

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    OTH, that is great. I feel the same I am interested in moving into a gay neighborhood and becoming a part of the community. Right now especially in the time of Covid and no longer in a relationship I wish to be among other gay people in order to feel a part of something bigger than my small issues.
    I imagine living in the vibrant gay community would be incredibly satisfying. Very envious as where I live there really isn’t that kind of area it is more spread out.
     
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  4. OnTheHighway

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    Everyone that I meet has their own small issues. Some wear it on their sleeves, others express it as you get to know them. On the one hand, people are accepting of our respective gay journeys, while on the other there does seem to a bit of judgement that goes around. As I have progressed away from the heteronormative script there seems to be a "homonormative" replacement script that people expect you to follow here which I didn't get much exposure to while living outside the town. Even though other people have their expectations, I simply maintain an attitude of let others be others and I will be me while trying not to get too exposed to the drama and gay politics.

    The realtor that helped me find my place (a long time lesbian friend of mine) thinks I will only be living here a few years before I grow weary of it. I don't think that is the case as it seems overall to fit quite nicely. I will let time be the judge.
     
  5. Nickw

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    Wow @OnTheHighway

    I didn't even know such places really existed. That's great that you found a place.

    I live in "Bibourhood" Half the folks are bi and we just don't say anything so it looks like every other neighborhood in the country...
     
  6. OnTheHighway

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    LOL, why am I not surprised???

    I think the concept of a gaybourhood is definitely shrinking as the LGBTQ community further amalgamates amongst their heterosexual brethren across the country, but this is one of the bigger neighborhoods/municipalities that remains quite robust.
     
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  7. Contented

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    For me I am tired of the heternormative script and living my life in what appears to be a mostly "heterohood". I have no quarrels with my hetero neighbors I just wish I could be where the popluation of the area was more heavily gay. The gay areas I have visited always seem more vibrant not just with nightlife but with a joy of life in general. I have spent a lifetime among the heterosexual population and frankly am ready to be out of it, at least locale wise. Perhaps I am mistaken or misreading things but it seems it would be generally easier to live my life as a gay man in a gaycentric area. It certainly would be easier to become a part of the community in such an area.
     
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  8. Bastion

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    @OnTheHighway

    Interesting. You have expressed and described your experience eloquently and diplomatically. I have visited such a hood or hoods in the past. And i have been to places where a lot of the lgbtq community gathers. I would say i have mixed feelings about it. There are Some positive and not so positive aspects to it. Mainly to do with a certain lifestyle, politics and a different outlook on things. While I liked the vibrant, and active part of it. Not very fond of the drama aspect of it. It is special though and for one not very much exposed to it. It may be a lot to take in at first. For me I guess I would prefer the bibourhood as @Nickw called it.
     
  9. OnTheHighway

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    Your perception is consistent with the perception I once had. On the surface, without getting to know people, businesses, services provided, neighbors and the likes, a gaybourhood may have a superficial feel to it. Such superficiality is pronounced at local watering holes. But once you lift the hood and start to get to know the community, it becomes a vibrant, engaging and communal place to live. Just like any other community I have lived in, there is always a bit of drama; however, such drama is easy to ignore just like it was in other communities. If you think about it, the gaybourhood is filled with folks that have faced extraordinary challenges in life unable to live up to others expectations. And this is one place where they can "let their hair down" so to speak and be themselves. I for one feel like I can be myself here and feels incredibly liberating.
     
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  10. JessNC

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    It sounds like you are feeling at home, Onthehighway. Good for you. Do uou feel that you are expressing yourswe lf more freely? How?
     
  11. OnTheHighway

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    I have been expressing myself ffor a few years now even before moving. But prior to living here, when I did express myself I always had in the back of my mind a risk factor to consider. And so I was pushing myself to be vulnerable and express myself.

    Living here I have no perceived risk factor that concerns me. So when I am myself I do not feel as if I am trying; it just comes naturally with no fear or risk of repercussion. This may sound inconsistent but I do not feel as if I am making myself vulnerable, instead it just happens.
     
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  12. JessNC

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    Makes perfect sense and squares with my way of understanding feeling "at home". Good for you!
     
  13. Bastion

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    Yeah. I get what you mean. I think if you live there and get to know the neighborhood, the businesses and the people and you integrate into the community. You become a local. It would be like any community or neighborhood and plus I guess a person
    can be more free and relaxed to express whatever identity he or she desires without the usual stigma.
     
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