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Old 11-30-2011, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Troy Hill, The Pitt
1,152 posts, read 769,602 times
Reputation: 1023

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loftin2426 View Post
Hello everyone,

My partner and I as well as our best friends (who are straight) had thought about a move to West Virginia.

I have heard not so great things about gays and lesbians in west virginia. I was hoping maybe to get some feed back from people who live there, and find out whether it is a safe and friendly place for gays and lesbians.

Thanks so much, Jen.

I wouldn't. I love WV, and still consider it be my home even though I no longer live there, but I wouldn't move there if I were gay. Many of the people in whatever community you choose(assuming you live in a city) would be tolerant, but a higher number than what you'll find elsewhere won't be. They may not be vocal about it, but it will come out at times and you'll notice it. You'll also notice that the majority of people say/believe things that they don't consider to be anti-gay or hateful that really are, and that most people outside of WV would be ashamed of. Its just the mixture of religious upbringing (you're pretty much in the bible belt), and a lack of familiarity with gay people that causes it. It will change eventually, but will take time.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Elkins, WV
1,958 posts, read 3,770,829 times
Reputation: 734
Quote:
Originally Posted by Q-tip motha View Post
I wouldn't. I love WV, and still consider it be my home even though I no longer live there, but I wouldn't move there if I were gay. Many of the people in whatever community you choose(assuming you live in a city) would be tolerant, but a higher number than what you'll find elsewhere won't be. They may not be vocal about it, but it will come out at times and you'll notice it. You'll also notice that the majority of people say/believe things that they don't consider to be anti-gay or hateful that really are, and that most people outside of WV would be ashamed of. Its just the mixture of religious upbringing (you're pretty much in the bible belt), and a lack of familiarity with gay people that causes it. It will change eventually, but will take time.
I really hate to break it to you... but unless you have a close friend or family member who happens to be gay... and I mean CLOSE... most Americans are actually still considerably ignorant to what may be offensive to gay people....

I've had people all over the country and world ask which one between Jake and I was the man and which was the women.... Any idea how offensive that is? Or how about the girl ask me if HIV was just something that happened eventually to gay men after having sex??? Yeah... This has all been outside of WV.

WV may not be a mecca for gays... but I hate to break it to you... no where is... at least for now
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:09 PM
 
2,998 posts, read 1,477,367 times
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Quote:
I'm in southern WV and we are totally tolerant.
Huh?

I spent the first 18 years of my life there and homophobia and racism were by far the norm. Not "we're going to drag you behind a truck" type hatred, mind you, but certainly being non-white, or non-Christian, or non-straight was not something that was really tolerated unless you happened to live in one of the relatively populous areas, where it'd be tolerated, but people would still choose not to associate with you.

It is changing for the better though. Most of the people I went to school with simply don't get why anyone should care. Still, it has a long, long way to go before I'd consider that region tolerant.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Troy Hill, The Pitt
1,152 posts, read 769,602 times
Reputation: 1023
Quote:
Originally Posted by GottaHerdOn View Post
I really hate to break it to you... but unless you have a close friend or family member who happens to be gay... and I mean CLOSE... most Americans are actually still considerably ignorant to what may be offensive to gay people....

I've had people all over the country and world ask which one between Jake and I was the man and which was the women.... Any idea how offensive that is? Or how about the girl ask me if HIV was just something that happened eventually to gay men after having sex??? Yeah... This has all been outside of WV.

WV may not be a mecca for gays... but I hate to break it to you... no where is... at least for now
I agree with you for the most part, although I have to tell you that Pittsburgh (the city, not the suburbs) where I now live is very tolerant and accepting of gays. It isn't perfect or where it should be by any stretch of imagination, but its getting there. However the point of my post was that WV was less tolerate relative to many other places which I believe to be true based upon the things that I've observed and things I've heard.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Elkins, WV
1,958 posts, read 3,770,829 times
Reputation: 734
Quote:
Originally Posted by Q-tip motha View Post
I agree with you for the most part, although I have to tell you that Pittsburgh (the city, not the suburbs) where I now live is very tolerant and accepting of gays. It isn't perfect or where it should be by any stretch of imagination, but its getting there. However the point of my post was that WV was less tolerate relative to many other places which I believe to be true based upon the things that I've observed and things I've heard.
I think a lot of it has to do with stereotyping too...

For example... my family... If you met my parents... very traditional... dad is a big outdoors type guy...etc You'd probably think that they were staunch Republicans and homophobic... Wrong... Even the side of my family that tends to be a little Republican still love and accept me, and embrace gay rights. If you see a chic, emaciated blonde in the newest Marc Jacobs strolling through Scottsdale...compared to a middle aged woman wearing LL.Bean in middle of no where West Virginia... who would you think is more supportive of gays?

It's a lot of perception... and I think people in WV get the short end of the stick when it comes to perception a lot of the time. Not just from outsiders...but from within as well.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:13 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
11,533 posts, read 9,727,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loftin2426 View Post
I do know that every place in this country is going to have people who don't like gays and lesbians.
Gay people will never admit to it, but there are Gay people who don't like other certain Gay people, lesbians who don't like other certain lesbians.

There you are, you've moved to West Virginia somewhere, your friendly straight, friendly, non-judgemental neighbors inform you your next door neighbors are gay. Oh goody-goody! You knock on their door, introduce yourselves, they slam the door in your face!

"Gee! What was it? I'm too overweight? I'm that ugly? I have bad breath?
They're non-smokers and I'm blowing smoke in their faces? Me and my partner are 20 years older, is that why?"

I'm Gay, have had Gay neighbors who never gave me the time of day, but that's OK, their loss, someone else's gain!
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Elkins, WV
1,958 posts, read 3,770,829 times
Reputation: 734
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
Gay people will never admit to it, but there are Gay people who don't like other certain Gay people, lesbians who don't like other certain lesbians.

There you are, you've moved to West Virginia somewhere, your friendly straight, friendly, non-judgemental neighbors inform you your next door neighbors are gay. Oh goody-goody! You knock on their door, introduce yourselves, they slam the door in your face!

"Gee! What was it? I'm too overweight? I'm that ugly? I have bad breath?
They're non-smokers and I'm blowing smoke in their faces? Me and my partner are 20 years older, is that why?"

I'm Gay, have had Gay neighbors who never gave me the time of day, but that's OK, their loss, someone else's gain!
Let me the first to admit it then... I can't stand a lot of us. Just like I can't stand a lot of straight people. Personality clashes aren't constrained to sexual orientation. The idea that just because we're gay we will get along is absurd.
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:45 PM
 
526 posts, read 586,466 times
Reputation: 209
A woman from the neighborhood where I grew up recently was married to her long time partner. I was talking about the wedding with an elderly neighbor who said she thought it was a terrible idea. I was prepared for some narrow minded homophobic rant. Turns out she thought the woman our neighbor married was way too old for her. I love it.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:43 PM
 
11 posts, read 8,981 times
Reputation: 19
I learned from moving all over the country that West Virginia's religion is different from that of the rest of the country. West Virginians are a uniquely "live and let live" kind of people. They really don't get into another person's business.

That being said, their response--in general--to gays is to simply shun them. There are many people who are fine with it, but straights in WV are an insecure crew, and they can often close the circle.

I really wouldn't recommend West Virginia to other gays because our community is mostly made up of people who are terrified of the stigma of being gay and being shut out. Gays in WV are the most unwelcoming group I've ever encountered, and they are very cliquish and closed off. Moreover, though I love my home state, WV doesn't offer the things that gay men typically enjoy. This is not a cosmopolitan state. You can get bored very quickly here.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:09 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,127 posts, read 21,497,182 times
Reputation: 4731
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damarco4u View Post
I learned from moving all over the country that West Virginia's religion is different from that of the rest of the country. West Virginians are a uniquely "live and let live" kind of people. They really don't get into another person's business.
I will chime in on this because the above doesn't apply to just the topic of whether gays are accepted or not. It can apply to a variety of things that some might call controversial topics or couplings.

I grew up in West Virginia and this was in the 1970s. Our family business had dealings with a number of gay people who owned design and flower shops. Yes, I know that sounds somewhat stereotypical, but at that time (and maybe even so today) you didn't have gay construction contractors "coming out", so the more "traditionally gay" (as it's perceived) businesses were known and that was it. Regardless, I have a really mixed family of some Democrat, some Republican, somewhat liberal to very very conservative, and they never had a problem with any of the people they dealt with, or said anything derogatory that at least I heard. This isn't to say they were fully accepting of it, but as per the quote above, they had a "if no one throws it in my face, I'll simply ignore it", mentality.

I currently live in the much deeper South, and I can tell you there is a stark difference between, "If we don't like it, we'll avoid it", mentality, and the "If we feel it's wrong, we're going to get rid of it", mentality - and I've seen that much more here (GA), than there (WV). This applies to gay issues, interracial relationships, among a variety of other things.

I don't currently have any gay acquaintances or business owners I deal with in WV right now, but I can say that when I did and the topics came up, they did complain that the Charleston gay crowd were very clickish (as per another part of the previous comment). So my guess would be if you are worried about being accepted or being discriminated against at least in the more city areas of WV, my guess would be that it's not an issue so long as you're not an obnoxious person in general. But in terms of "gay social scene", based on comments I've heard, it's not very good.
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