Hello From The Heartland!

Brady's picture

Hi! I'm Brady, I'm almost 15, and this is the first time I've ever done anything like this. I'm writing this because I think people out should know that gays like me exist, and just how hard it is for us to be different. I think people on here will understand that. None of the names I use here, including mine, are real but it has to be that way.

I live in the middle of the country, literally. My home is in a small rural town a good half hour drive from anything that could even be called a city, over a hour from a real city. My closest neighbor is a mile away, and it's a long drive to my school. In my state you can get a farm driver's license at 14 that has restrictions on it, but as long as you're not stupid about it people look the other way. When you drive down a road you wave at a passing car or truck because you know them. Believe me, here everyone knows everyone.

My town is small, and so is my school. We barely have enough guys to make a full football team, and the high school is in the smallest division in my state. Sports here are huge, so huge that if you need to find someone on a Friday night in the fall you go down to the football stadium and they'll be there. I play football (offense & defense), baseball, and basketball for my school and I'd be on the wrestling squad if I could play two sports at a time. I should be in high school but I was born past the cutoff date, and for me that's been a good thing. I'm also a Boy Scout and have been in scouting since I was first able to join.

I know gay people look down on sports but in a place where there's very little to do, playing ball is a chance to do something, to keep you focused, and out of trouble. Not that there's too much trouble you can get into here.
Well, I take that back. You can get into trouble, and I'm sure I'll write about that soon.

In my town traditional values rule, you go to church every Sunday and you toe the line...or else. Everyone here is white, and outsiders are not welcome, which dammit is suffocating!!! A Spanish speaking family once moved here and sent their kids to school, and they were gone the next day. I think that will give you an idea what I have to deal with.

I live with my dad and younger brother Hayden in what was his childhood home, and back then it was a productive farm. Now it's just a small house on a lot of land in the middle of nowhere, with a small garden. Dad works in the city so my brother and I have to take on a lot of responsibility, but it could be worse. Mom split when we were little kids, just one day decided she needed some excitement in her life and divorced dad. I haven't seen here in almost 10 years and basically she doesn't exist anymore. There's lots of pressure on our dad to remarry but that's not going to happen anytime soon. Dad has secrets too.

I know people look down on country folk, they think we're a bunch of rednecks and hillbillies, but where do you think your food comes from? We're the people who helped build this country and it sucks when that's forgotten.

By writing on here and telling my side of things I want to give the other gays living in similar places some hope that things can be good, and to let the outside world know that gays are everywhere. Especially where you don't think you'll find them.

Brady

Comments

swimmerguy's picture

Hello from suburbia!

I'm on the far left of the lower 48, in Washington State. As a Boy Scout, one of our trips was to visit Cape Alava, the westernmost point in the country bar Alaska or Hawaii.
I don't know if "gays" look down on sports. Some probably do, I guess, but then again some straight people probably do. But I'm gay, and I don't, so there's that, I guess. I play Ultimate Frisbee in the spring, soccer in the fall, then I bike almost every day the year round, and I used to swim heavily (until I realized it was a little depressing).

I've never been to the center of the country... My brother's girlfriend is the only person I know I know from there, she's from Kansas. Interestingly, he said that she went to a high school with like 2000 people, and she was one of maybe a dozen in her graduating class to leave the state for college.
I guess I've never watched the sun set on the prairie, but here I get to watch the sun set over the ocean, and I like the mountains too. I guess I can't know if I'd like it until I try it.

And do people look down on country folk? I don't feel like I do... But then again, being a very boring upper-middle-class white suburban kid, I suppose I don't really know much what they're like. My brother's girlfriend is Hispanic, and being that she was one of the only ones to leave the state I don't think she's a fair example...
And I know people from the central states aren't hillbillies: by definition you have to live in the Appalachians.
I've tried gardening before, and honestly, I really love watching my own food grow and doing all that care stuff. I hate the fact that I'm completely alienated from my food through packaging. Sometimes I've romanticized about getting a farm, but I realize that it's a lot of work, that the romance is kinda lost with all the chemicals and machines they use for it nowadays anyway, and you can't really leave unless you want to get someone to take care of your farm while you're gone.
But my brother's worked on farms (in Washington) and he enjoys it, so who knows?

I guess what you said about the homogeneity, I would really chafe at that, but I don't know if that makes me look down on the people for it. I can't know if I wouldn't be exactly the same, if I was born there. I suppose being gay would make me question some of the stuff I'd been taught, the same way being Hispanic probably informed on the free-spiritedness of my brother's girlfriend.
Anyway, good luck with the being gay, living in the country, playing sports, Boy Scouts, etc.
And enjoy your time here. Sorry if I mostly talked about myself on your first journal.

swimmerguy's picture

Looking back on those sports I mentioned...

I realize they're pretty gay. I've tried football, and it's fine, but it hasn't really blown my hair back.

jeff's picture

Probably...

because you're a big homo? ;-)

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

elph's picture

Innovative "turn of phrase"

blown my hair back. That's your creation? :) Like it!

Anyway... I'm obliged to agree with your assessment of (American) football! There're just too many negatives...

swimmerguy's picture

I think if I got it from anywhere

it was from Saul from Breaking Bad. My mind must've harvested it from there, as that's the only place I can remember anyone else saying that.

jeff's picture

Welcome...

to Oasis! Glad you found us... which begs the question how did you find us (so we might make it easier for others like you).

I grew up in a small town in PA before spending 16ish years in San Francisco and now NYC, so my advice is plot your escape early and make it happen (if that's what you want). Life's too short to slowly change hearts and minds.

Gays don't look down on sports, since "gays" don't singularly do or not do anything. I have friends who are on gay volleyball leagues in NYC and gay baseball leagues in SF. My gay best friend knows every baseball statistic and watches as many games as possible. Sports-hating gays do exist (I'm one of them), but there's a ton of people who love them.

Similarly, I wouldn't say I look down on country folk. Although it is fair to say I have no desire to live that life. That said, my food tends to come from organic farms, local whenever possible, through CSAs.

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

Brady's picture

A online friend told me

A online friend told me about Oasis, and he was right about this being better than hanging out in chat rooms. Most of what I know about being gay I've learned from chat rooms, and I don't really like what I've been told.

Right now were transforming the farmland we own so we can sell the produce as organic, our personal garden has always been 100% organic. This spring we'll also be setting up solar power for our house, including a solar water heater.

I'm going to leave here once I graduate from high school, this isn't where I want to spend the rest of my life.

Brady

anarchist's picture

Welcome to your peaceful oasis, Brady.

Your description of the place you live was nice, aside from the obsession with football, the mandatory religion, and the overall bigotry you mentioned. I definitely agree on your defence of the farmers. They've been treated too poorly throughout all of history.

I thought where I live was small, but that sounds pretty extreme. I'm about the same distance away from anything as you are, but the people here are also extremely accepting and very diverse, plus the area's been rapidly expanding, so things have been improving as well.

Anyway, this is a pretty nice place you've found here. We've been facing some hard times lately, but we're a nice bunch. Arguments have been relatively rare here, especially in recent months, so feel free to express whatever you want. We may not be many, but we're certainly active, so you'll feel at home here soon enough. Just keep on writing and you'll get to know us quickly.

The first thing you should know about me is that I love tree spirits enough to be equally disgusted by both the city and the farmlands. Both have cultures that seem horrible from my perspective, but I won't judge. We're in this fight with ourselves together and alone, so I'll support anyone who's willing to accept their lack of acceptance.

lonewolf678's picture

Hello and welcome!

We've not had many members recently join, if you don't count the ones who joined then lurk and revive forum topics that are many years old. Please do tell us how you found this site, it would be very helpful.

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

Wilkommen!

Welcome to Oasis. It's a lovely place, but you've read all of that before.

My pen name is Greer Stewart (and such shall I be called) and it's a pleasure to meat you. If you ever need to talk about anything, you can always PM me and I'll probably respond. I'm a bit sporadic on the site, though.

Anyways, I hope you have a lovely time and I wish you luck in your endeavors where the deer and the antelope are shot for sport.

My family actually comes from Texas, where for the longest they owned farms. The other side came from Rhode Island, where they worked in factories. So I have history all over that... but I digress.

Long story short, I'm Greer, I'm tired, and the voices are too loud to think right now. So I'll talk to you later, eh? Have a charming day, and may your bacon be fried to a crisp deliciousness. Unless you're a vegetarian. In which case, may your whatever-you-happen-to-eat be cooked well in whatever manner you eat things. Unless you just don't like bacon. In which case... Well, I just don't care to talk to you, if you have issues with high-quality bacon.

Oh yeah, and sleep well.

* * *

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.