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Old 11-18-2007, 07:27 AM
 
11 posts, read 60,515 times
Reputation: 15
Smile Gay and happy in Nashville, is it possible?

Hello I see alot of articles promoting Nashville TN as one the most fastest growing cities in the South where housing is still affordable. I currently live in NC below Chapel Hill where homosexuality is accepted to a certain point in the Research Triangle Area . My partner has expressed interest in living in Nashville. He has visited there often and says it is a great city. I am wondering if it is possible to be gay and have fun in Nashville which he claims is possible. I do recall the Southern Baptist headquarters is located in Nashville. Thanks for replying.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
6,297 posts, read 15,004,865 times
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I would say that Nashville is "gay tolerance", but not particularly "gay friendly". I don't know the Chapel Hill area that well, but from what you said, Nashville would probably be similar. There is a small but active gay community here; they have parades, and events, and whatnot, and no ones bothers them. I'm sure you're aware that it won't be like San Francisco or some of the cities in the Northeast however.
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Old 11-18-2007, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Murray, KY
181 posts, read 374,067 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alleycat View Post
I would say that Nashville is "gay tolerance", but not particularly "gay friendly". I don't know the Chapel Hill area that well, but from what you said, Nashville would probably be similar. There is a small but active gay community here; they have parades, and events, and whatnot, and no ones bothers them. I'm sure you're aware that it won't be like San Francisco or some of the cities in the Northeast however.

Yeah, I agree. There are gay and lesbian clubs and hang outs in West End and there are some fairly vocal gay community members. All in all, it's not that bad. I have some gay and lesbian friends and they vary on their opinions of Nashville. I'd say it would be close to a 50-50 split in their opinions. Oddly, some think Nashville is as crappy as it gets and that no place compares to NYC. Personally, the fact they even remotly compare Nashville to NYC is laughable at best. There are those that love this city and love the atmosphere and are happy with their lifestyle here.
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Old 11-18-2007, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Nashville
598 posts, read 1,178,411 times
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I've lived in Nashville all my life, and I guess that makes me a gay man who's lived in Nashville all my life. I couldn't be happier. There are so many ways to look at it. I went to bars when I was much younger. Loved it then. But, I've never been one to think of myself as much different than anyone else. I don't do parades, I don't do bars anymore, I just live here, and blend here. People know I'm gay, but only if I tell them, and I've never hesitated to tell if asked (or not asked) and have never lost a friend by doing so. Of course, if you want to wear a slinky sequined dress and take in the Gay Pride parade to demonstrate to society how much you should be accepted and fit in, and do so my making a fool out yourself and showing society how much disdain you hold in your heart for "regular folk", then you're on your own. I have no problem with people expressing themselves in any way they want to, but often it's not the straight people looking with raised eyebrows, but me. I've never understood to look at gay people through a keyhole and see only one stereotypical type. People are people and as long as your worth knowing, interesting and kind, show people the respect they deserve, they'll return the favor with no questions asked. San Francisco or Midtown Atlanta we're not, but good common sense on how to be yourself and get along with everyone will go a long way to your happiness here. We're not much different than anywhere else. I'm quite amazed at how few raised eyebrows I see around here. Come on down. I wish you the best.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:29 AM
 
Location: East Nashville, TN
142 posts, read 399,955 times
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I live in East Nashville and have gay friends who love it here. There is a pretty large gay population here, and the majority of folks around here are pretty liberal and thus "gay-friendly". I would recommend you check out the area of East Nashville.
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN (USA)
731 posts, read 960,835 times
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You'll be fine here. For its' size and the region, Nashville has a good gay community. However, I suppose it all depends on what precisely you need in a gay community. If you just want to feel accepted and go to bars and clubs occasionally, then this will be a good place for you. There's a small but developing gay business district along Church Street with bars, clubs, restaurants, and stores.

If you're looking for a "gayborhood" composed primarily of gay and lesbians then you're probably better off looking to a larger city like Chicago or Atlanta. If you're looking for a residential community where gay and lesbian people are visible and no one cares then you'll do great in a number of the more socially progressive neighborhoods in Davidson County like East Nashville, West End/Midtown, Hillsboro Village, Green Hills, Sylvan Park, or 12South. All of these areas I consider quite "gay-friendly." I've never had any problems in the exurbs and suburbs but they are noticeably more socially conservative from my experiences or, as alleycat put it, more "gay tolerant."

I recently moved here from Ann Arbor, MI, a very gay-friendly but small college town. I'm originally from this area but my partner was from Michigan. Like many people with exaggerated South misconceptions, I had to assure him that being gay wouldn't be a problem here. He absolutely loves it now and prefers it to the Detroit metro. We're pretty young (late 20's) so we'll hit up Tribe or Play occasionally on Church St. We see other gay and lesbian people and couples daily pretty much everywhere. Of course, most of our time is spent in the neighborhoods I suggested above so I'm sure this has a lot to do with it. You should check out Out & About Newspaper to get a general idea of what's going on the Nashville gay and lesbian community. It's an excellent resource.
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Nashville,TN
4 posts, read 15,340 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericrion View Post
Hello I see alot of articles promoting Nashville TN as one the most fastest growing cities in the South where housing is still affordable. I currently live in NC below Chapel Hill where homosexuality is accepted to a certain point in the Research Triangle Area . My partner has expressed interest in living in Nashville. He has visited there often and says it is a great city. I am wondering if it is possible to be gay and have fun in Nashville which he claims is possible. I do recall the Southern Baptist headquarters is located in Nashville. Thanks for replying.
Come on down! Nashville has become very gay friendly over the years. Good community and publications. In a metropolitan area that has the kind of growth we have had and are experiencing- people from all of the 'big cities' -because, it is on the lists of 'most desired' places to live in the past 2 years, economic growth and stability, stable housing market, pro sports,NO state income tax, and culturally, artistically, musically, etc, very diverse-the shopping & resterants getting better and better! something for eveyone. Lots of fun- and friendly...check out East Nashville for diversity, it rocks!
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Madison
404 posts, read 786,143 times
Reputation: 216
I've lived in the area for almost twenty years, first in Gallatin, then in Madison (one of the near suburbs). I like living here, and my partner and I have made a good life for ourselves. We've seen the atmosphere improve tremendously, especially in the past couple of years.

However.

I wouldn't call Nashville "gay friendly." There are small pockets of acceptance, but generally there's a pattern of people liking the individual, but despising the group. If you can manage to associate only with like-minded people, this can be a great place. But it's very difficult to do that.

Not too long ago the Metro Council rejected an anti-discrimination measure, and the process got _very_ nasty. Though many of the measure's most vocal opponents are now off the Council, the issue hasn't been brought up again. The influence of conservative churches is still strong here, and though there are a few hopeful signs -- the most conservative mayoral candidates were trounced in the last election -- change is only incremental.

My partner and I are very circumspect when we're out. We feel more open in the enclaves of Church Street and East Nashville, but are careful everywhere else. Take a look at the forums on the Tennessean for an idea of the kind of bigotry that many in Nashville feel free to express.

State-wide, many of our elected representatives are actively hostile to the community. An anti-marriage amendment received 80% of the vote last year, and representatives are getting ready to introduce anti-adoption legislation _again._ The most virulently anti-gay stuff usually doesn't pass, but they introduce it because they know there are lots of supporters out there among voters.

So my view is a little more ambivalent. We like it here because we have a good standard of living without needing buckets of cash. We've made some great friends, and are generally happy here.

But the city -- and the state -- has a way to go before we feel welcome.
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:16 AM
 
11 posts, read 31,322 times
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How about gay teens? Are they hassled a lot in high school in TN. More than any other place I mean? I have a 14 y.o. son who will start high school in TN. and I'm kinda wondering if it will be better or worse than CA school.s
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:33 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
6,297 posts, read 15,004,865 times
Reputation: 1580
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRobin4564 View Post
How about gay teens? Are they hassled a lot in high school in TN. More than any other place I mean? I have a 14 y.o. son who will start high school in TN. and I'm kinda wondering if it will be better or worse than CA school.s
I would guess that the smaller the town, the greater the chance of being harassed; but I would think that's true almost anywhere, including California. Are you moving to Nashville, or one of the surrounding counties?

And it will also depend on how he acts; if he insists on wearing a ruffled pink blouse to "express his gayness" then he can expect to get picked on more than if he generally dresses like the other guys. Of course, these days with all the piercing and hair colors, it might not matter as much as it once did.

Remember too that almost all teen boys get picked on for one thing or the other, not just for being gay. It's one of the reason most of us have no desire to go back and relive our high school days.

Last edited by alleycat; 12-27-2007 at 01:55 AM..
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