Over the years, I have come to know a lot of guys who grew up in “the south” – a completely different world for gay guys trying to figure out their sexuality. Fantastic cities like Austin, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Dallas, Nashville, New Orleans and Savannah are becoming more gay-friendly, but the overall mentality is still steeped in old-school traditions, which are oblivious to so many things happening outside of the safety of their hometown “bubble.”
Breaking out of this bubble is never easy for gay guys; while I understand that technology is allowing more teens to both understand and accept their sexuality at a younger age, the southern states do not exactly go out of their way to encourage acceptance. In most cases, it’s easier for the older generation to simply put on blinders to anything “new,” and encourage their teens to play sports, hunt, fish and find a nice girl to settle down with for a lifetime.
Having grown up and experienced this firsthand, the amount of guys either living in the closet or having a secondary hidden lifestyle is huge in the south. Thanks to the many great LGBT organizations and the Internet, teens today have a lot more opportunities to learn, understand and accept themselves while still living inside the bubble. In general, these cities are becoming much more gay-friendly and forward-thinking, but the majority still simply don’t understand anything outside of the “heterosexual” label.
While the conceptions and scene changes, there are plenty of LGBT businesses thriving in the south, with a growing number of hotels, inns, bars/clubs and more catering to everyone, but specializing in being gay-friendly. Fortunately, today most teens in the south don’t have to wait until they are exposed to the outside world and officially “come-out” well into their 20’s and 30’s, but instead find others with similar likes and preferences both in-person and digitally while still in their teens. So, for those both in the closet and out, here are some links to best guide you through these popular southern cities:
- Par Damon |
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