I don’t use the term “hate” very often, and I’m choosing it today, not even sure if it is the appropriate term. Maybe one of my readers will comment on it and if it seems like the right term or not.

The other night, I was in Beaver Falls PA for a screening of Out in the Silence, a documentary that explores the issues surrounding being gay and out in small town Pennsylvania.During the Q/A period after the film, one of the guys there was talking about how easy it was to be gay there in Beaver Falls. “You can’t hold hands'” he said, and I immediately began to think about how often my partner Brad and I will hold hands- at the grocery store, out in public, just walking the dog around the neighborhood. I would really notice that infringement on my personal behavior. It might seem like a little thing, and in the grander scheme of things, holding hands may not be profound, yet it is symbolic and represents probably dozens upon dozens of ways gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people are  (or feel) restricted in many small towns and rural communities. A woman there with her husband, talked about her gay son, who now lives in New York. He left as quickly as he could after High School, first off to college, and then off to New York to build a life where he could be more free and open about who he really is.

Then, I saw the linked story, which is on Towleroad, where folks found a rainbow flag burned at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center in New York City.

On the one hand, there is little connection to Beaver Falls. Where everyone just knows that you can’t hold hands. And yet, on the other hand, it is the exact same hate at work in both places. There in the big city, someone decided to remind the queers that their visibility isn’t OK with everyone.

So often, we, GLBT folks as well as our allies, set up this false notion that there is safety and everyone is progressive in a big city, and small town USA is the scary place to be gay. But this, like so many generalizations, falls apart under closer examination. There is safety, and there is danger everywhere, and because of that, we all have to be in this together, no matter where we live. Once we stop falsely attributing problems to some place and not others, we can begin to work to rid the real problem, which is homophobia and bigotry. No matter if this is blatant or subversive; frequent or random; annoying or life threatening it harms not only the ones to whom it is directed, but the whole of our LGBT community, and the bigger over all community too.

Rainbow Flag Torched at New York LGBT Community Center – Towleroad, More than gay news. More gay men.


  1. THX for the comment!

  2. Great article Thomas. Thanks for writing it.

  3. Thx for posting a comment!

  4. nadeem1414 says:

    http://www.enews.pk it is a reality about the big cities and small town which are not make the progress in the society.

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