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Old 04-27-2011, 08:53 PM
 
4 posts, read 9,006 times
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I know this has been asked tons of times before, I've read through pretty much all of them, but the majority were asked by older adults and professionals with partners looking to settle down. I'm a 19 year old college student, living in Greenville currently, and will be transferring from a community college to a 4-year after this coming up fall semester. I've narrowed my search down to UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Asheville, and UNC-Greensboro. I'm curious as to how accepting the citizens of Charlotte and the students of UNCC are towards gays? Here in greenville, being gay is like Fight Club, the first rule of homosexuality is you don't talk about homosexuality. Doing so results in awkward silences and a very apparent feeling of not being wanted. ECU students are slightly better, but there's still a very frat boy vibe at ECU so while it's more accepted, you're still considered "that gay guy". I don't need (or even want) a city with a thriving gay community full of parades and rainbow flags, I'd just like to live and go to school somewhere where I won't have to be hesitant about saying that I'm gay or mentioning that I have a boyfriend. I'd like to live somewhere where it's no big deal and people will still be friendly (real friendly, not politically correct friendly then talk about me behind my back) and I won't have to worry about not being accepted or being treated differently, as it is in Greenville. Note that I'm in no way overtly gay, the only way people ever know I'm gay is if I tell them I am and sometimes they even laugh thinking I'm joking, assuming every gay guy must be a flamboyant flamer and there's no possible way a typical guy in jeans and a tee shirt could ever be *gasp* a homo!

So how's the vibe? To make it easier to describe, and for me to understand, here's what I, personally, classify cities as:

Homophobic: Say you're gay, get jumped and bashed. (most small towns)
Tolerant: Say you're gay, get awkward silences, blank stares, and fake friendliness. (Greenville, Winston Salem)
Accepting: Say you're gay, get a positive response and sincere friendliness. (Raleigh, Durham)
Embracing: Say you're gay, get people inviting you to their gay bowling league and the 50th gay pride parade of the year. (Asheville's the only NC city I know of like this)

Mind you, this is for a young college student, not a professional adult living in the suburbs, I'd be living and interacting primarily in the University City and downtown (or uptown, I believe you guys call it?) area.

*Sorry this is so long, just want to get the best answers possible.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:02 PM
 
3,115 posts, read 6,599,108 times
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I don't know if I'm qualified to answer, but my general feeling is that we are somewhere between being tolerant and accepting. It's more likely that the un-accepting people here will be nice to your face and talk about you behind your back. (Unless they are named Bill James ) Greenville is a great little city, but SC in general is a different monster than NC, so you'd probably be ok anywhere here.

If you are super worried, stick with Asheville.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Washington DC
4,642 posts, read 4,280,352 times
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Edit: Accepting.


I don't understand the embracing part of one of your answer picks. I'd say embracing but I don't understand the whole bowling equation, lol.


The truth of the matter is, there is a lot of type of people in Charlotte. As a whole, people are accepting. But as individuals, some are very embracing. Some will beg you to go to a gay pride event so they can see what it is like. Some wont really care about gay pride (I personally don't). Some people will wanna go to gay clubs with you because they love gay clubs. I know tons of people (even a few straight guys) who like gay clubs. But, I don't club nor am I into gay pride really, lol. It just depends on the specific type of people you're around. Some of my (straight) friends wanna go to pride Charlotte but I just figured it would be boring to me, lol.


But as a whole, people will be your definition of "accepting" .
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:36 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 22,125,388 times
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If you project your sexual preference as your primary personal descriptive factor then you're going to get some pushback no matter where you go. I'm straight, but I don't project any behaviors that would cause someone to even consider my sexuality. I know gay people that, since their sexuality is a private matter for them, don't evoke any "hey look at that gay guy" looks from other people. OTOH, I was in a dinner group years ago. Several of the other group members were gay, and a couple of them made every single aspect of their lives about being gay. Eventually I heard enough about "power bottoms" while trying to enjoy a fine gourmet meal that I and most everyone else left the group.

If you're gay, fine. If you're gay and you go to great lengths to make sure everyone who crosses your path knows you're gay, expect some flak.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:00 PM
 
4 posts, read 9,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmaxnc View Post
If you project your sexual preference as your primary personal descriptive factor then you're going to get some pushback no matter where you go. I'm straight, but I don't project any behaviors that would cause someone to even consider my sexuality. I know gay people that, since their sexuality is a private matter for them, don't evoke any "hey look at that gay guy" looks from other people. OTOH, I was in a dinner group years ago. Several of the other group members were gay, and a couple of them made every single aspect of their lives about being gay. Eventually I heard enough about "power bottoms" while trying to enjoy a fine gourmet meal that I and most everyone else left the group.

If you're gay, fine. If you're gay and you go to great lengths to make sure everyone who crosses your path knows you're gay, expect some flak.
I understand what you're saying, but often times, at least in my case, straight people are the ones who unknowingly bring it up then force it out of me then act as if I should have kept it a secret. I can't tell you how many times I've had a classmate or coworker ask if I have a girlfriend, to which I'll politely reply that I don't. They'll then pester me with more questions asking why I don't, why my last relationship ended, whether I want to meet their friend Ashley, eventually requiring me to inform them that I'm gay. Afterwards I get the cold, awkward reaction as if that were something I should have kept to myself. So while I get what you mean, sometimes people force me to have to tell them I'm gay. I much prefer to let people get to know me first before mentioning my sexuality so that way they know me as me, not as "that gay guy". My main worry is about situations like what I just mentioned, when it's unavoidable, whether or not the reaction will be positive, negative, or neutral. Trust me, I'm pretty shy and timid, so talking about my sexuality gives me much more attention than I want.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:13 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 11,566,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smooshy1 View Post
I understand what you're saying, but often times, at least in my case, straight people are the ones who unknowingly bring it up then force it out of me then act as if I should have kept it a secret. I can't tell you how many times I've had a classmate or coworker ask if I have a girlfriend, to which I'll politely reply that I don't. They'll then pester me with more questions asking why I don't, why my last relationship ended, whether I want to meet their friend Ashley, eventually requiring me to inform them that I'm gay. Afterwards I get the cold, awkward reaction as if that were something I should have kept to myself. So while I get what you mean, sometimes people force me to have to tell them I'm gay. I much prefer to let people get to know me first before mentioning my sexuality so that way they know me as me, not as "that gay guy". My main worry is about situations like what I just mentioned, when it's unavoidable, whether or not the reaction will be positive, negative, or neutral. Trust me, I'm pretty shy and timid, so talking about my sexuality gives me much more attention than I want.
This has been my experience. I chose to remain closeted after a few negative experiences (I was also disabled which played a factor--a lot of people seemed to think there was a causal link) but that's exactly what happens. Everyone asks the boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife question totally innocuously but it forces any gay person in a position of either playing straight or coming out. Since that question gets asked so often it's not very easy to just "remain a mystery."
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:14 AM
 
8,402 posts, read 22,125,388 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smooshy1 View Post
I understand what you're saying, but often times, at least in my case, straight people are the ones who unknowingly bring it up then force it out of me then act as if I should have kept it a secret. I can't tell you how many times I've had a classmate or coworker ask if I have a girlfriend, to which I'll politely reply that I don't. They'll then pester me with more questions asking why I don't, why my last relationship ended, whether I want to meet their friend Ashley, eventually requiring me to inform them that I'm gay. Afterwards I get the cold, awkward reaction as if that were something I should have kept to myself. So while I get what you mean, sometimes people force me to have to tell them I'm gay. I much prefer to let people get to know me first before mentioning my sexuality so that way they know me as me, not as "that gay guy". My main worry is about situations like what I just mentioned, when it's unavoidable, whether or not the reaction will be positive, negative, or neutral. Trust me, I'm pretty shy and timid, so talking about my sexuality gives me much more attention than I want.
Good info. I hadn't thought about that situation you described. You either have to admit you're gay, or deflect the barrage of questions, which can compromise who you are. I don't project my sexuality, but I'd also not want to feel like I need to hide it to appease others. I get your point.

I try to accept people for who they are as an individual, but admittedly am not always successful. From what I've read on this forum and from personal experience, gays are accepted here, but I'm certainly no expert.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
11,838 posts, read 26,652,035 times
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Just tell the pushy people that you're celibate. That should stop them dead in their tracks and honestly if you're with a group of people that feels the need to be nosy about every facet of your life I'd think that you'd avoid them. I certainly would.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,352 posts, read 4,306,646 times
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I think Charlotte is mostly accepting, with some embracing. One thing to consider is the support you can find, and there are many supportive communities & groups here, places you can go and be completely yourself. Quite a few churches who aren't just tolerant, but whose denominations have actively worked for gay rights. Many gatherings & social events. I know those don't make up all of regular day-to-day life, but if you know you have several places to go & be supported, it can make any negativity easier to handle.

I think it's fairly rare here for there to be open hostility. (Don't read the Charlotte Observer comments, generally a cesspool of hatred and judgment. So is their forum, according to a friend of mine. They're NOT reflective of Charlotte as a whole.)
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:17 AM
 
174 posts, read 442,722 times
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I wish people would stop asking a question we all know the answer to already. The majority of people are not accepting to the gay lifestyle. In larger cities (Not Charlotte) there are pockets of gay areas where nobody would blink if they knew you were gay. You will be noticed and nobody can predict how someone will react to being openly gay. Go ask this guy about acceptance.

ROCK HILL | Gay victim of SC mob attack: I'm standing up for anyone beaten up for being different | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC

This is 20 minutes south of Charlotte and yes it's the extreme to the argument, but things like this happen....this just happened to be caught on film which is why the big hoopla surrounded it.
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