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Verin Mathwin
07-19-2009, 07:08 PM
So, I am a little unsure about what to do. I go to a small Christian College in Northeast Georgia. I will be a junior in the fall so that means I have two years left. I like it here a lot. I have some really amazing friends that I love dearly.

So, here is where my problem comes in: I'm gay (Hey, surprise I'm gay... and no being gay is not the problem), and I am just kind of lonely. You can't be out here, sadly, it's just not acceptable. I mean I know there are other gay guys... I just don't know who they are and I don't really know how to find out. I really want to have other gay friends and I want to be in a relationship obviously. So, my question is do I leave to get that, or do I stay here? I mean yes, I want to leave, but I don't want to leave my friends either. They would understand why I would leave, but it is somewhat selfish on my part. I don't know... do I just stick it out for two more years or just say screw it and leave?

John Snow
07-19-2009, 08:02 PM
given that you like the place and have good friends. I used to live in Omaha, where I sang in the Omaha Symphonic Chorus..an organization that was welcoming to out gays, and consequently must have had every g/l in town join - or at least, all who could sing.

It puzzled me, too - why would they stay in Omaha, given the religious and social conservativism, which included a fair degree of intolerance. Well, friends, relatives, and maybe it's just difficult to get up the impetus to move, even from someplace that can be pretty hateful. A fellow baritone was a gay dentist and perfectly willing, of course, to treat all the gays in town - something that a lot of straight local dentists were averse to. So he stayed there, in a very small community.

Doesn't answer your question of how to meet some guys, have dates, and such, I realize, but maybe I was explaining to myself why you're choosing to stay there.

irerancincpkc
07-19-2009, 08:05 PM
You have to do what's best for you. Is being in a relationship right now more important to you than hanging out with your friends for another two years? That's the decision you have to make, and it's not an easy one...

Good luck, and all I can really say is listen to your heart...

JSUCamel
07-19-2009, 08:06 PM
If you were anywhere but a religious college, I would say stay and come out. But since you're in a religious college and in Georgia... it really depends.

Here are my thoughts:

- I don't think it's selfish to leave. It's really tough being somewhere that you know wouldn't accept you if you told people the truth. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be accepted.

- There are a ton of colleges in the area where it's perfectly acceptable to be gay. Maybe not to the population at large, but there are tons of gays that are out and it's relatively easy to find that community in those colleges.

- You're in a situation where you will pretty much never meet as many people as you will in college. If you wait until you're out of college, you'll be limiting your social circle of connections to whomever you meet at your job or local community. Why limit yourself? There are plenty of fish in the sea, but only a few in the bay. Gotta go out to the sea to find the rest.

I can't really think of any reasons to stay, unless you're just incredibly attached to your friends. I think if they were really your friends and cared about you, they wouldn't care if you were gay, and at the same time, they'd totally understand if you left.

I think, ultimately, you need to do what makes you happy. I personally can't believe that staying and suppressing your true self would make you happy. But then, I'm not you.

Best of luck. Thanks for trusting us enough to ask for your advice :) Hopefully we'll help.

Brita
07-19-2009, 08:52 PM
I second what Camel said.

It is a situation I have never had to face, so I am not really entitled to give any advice. But I can say from my experience that:
Friends you will find most anywhere you go.
And friends (especially college friends, take it from a 34 year old) come and go.
And friends, good friends, you will keep, even by long distance.
But partners, that is a little different. It's worth moving for.

And the true to yourself thing is a major too, but Camel covered that nicely.

Zaela Sedai
07-19-2009, 09:16 PM
Personally I have found the hardest route is the best route in the long run. I know it sounds stupid but it's true. Don't regret whatever choice you make. Just be happy.

Terez
07-19-2009, 10:25 PM
I sort of wondered why you were so set on going there back in high school, knowing what you would face. But if you're looking for the gay guys at your school, start hanging out with music/art majors. I can guarantee there are some gay guys in that area, even at a religious school. And unless my gaydar is better than yours, they shouldn't be too hard to spot. :D

Sinistrum
07-19-2009, 11:12 PM
Honestly I would recommend you transfer. It sounds like the school you're at is pretty rural, which means that the GLBT community is always going to be underground. That sort of thing makes dating possibilities a minimal at best. It sounds like you would be happier at an urban school with a lot more diverse student body where you could more comfortably express who you are.

StrangePackage
07-20-2009, 12:13 AM
Transfer.

It's not selfish to want to be who you are.

UNC-A is not far from NE GA (about 2 hours) and has a thriving LGBT community.

tworiverswoman
07-20-2009, 12:34 AM
It may sound trivial, but one of the things Camel said is pretty important -- you will never again have an opportunity to meet as many potential partners as you will during your school years.

Staying where you are, where you've already pretty well eliminated everyone you've met is not going to offer you anything more toward this PARTICULAR issue.

Yes, it will be painful to relocate - and will increase your loneliness in the short run, until you begin to form a new circle of friends - but the wider range of choices will make up for that over time.

I wish you all the best, Mat.

tanaww
07-20-2009, 08:09 AM
Did Yuku eat my post? Mat, the only other thing to consider is the transfer credit issue. You need to be objective about that especially transferring out of a private, Christian institution. Those million credits of Religion classes don't mean squat to any other university more likely than not. That being said, you have to do what is right for you.

Much love. I haven't chatted with you in too long!

Zanguini
07-20-2009, 08:35 AM
If you like Georgia... GA tech is in atlanta.... Clemson in south carolina is also not very far away

You could always come to my school i know that there are a fair few here

Gilshalos Sedai
07-20-2009, 08:58 AM
Thank you for trusting us with this.

I hate moving. With a passion. It comes from going to 5 different schools before the 5th grade, and switching high schools in the middle of Junior year. I understand not wanting to leave the familiar, no matter how oppressive. However, you need to be true to yourself. Do your parents know?

Ozymandias
07-20-2009, 09:49 AM
Not to be the negative one here, but the flip side is that your not guaranteed to find a partner anywhere else. As a senior in university, I can tell you its tough to make friends at this point, since social groups are pretty well set.

Not that I think you should not try for fear of failure, but its worth considering that its not just a romantic relationship for your current friendships tradeoff... you may come out of it down your friends, and not up anything.

JSUCamel
07-20-2009, 09:57 AM
Not to be the negative one here, but the flip side is that your not guaranteed to find a partner anywhere else. As a senior in university, I can tell you its tough to make friends at this point, since social groups are pretty well set.

Not that I think you should not try for fear of failure, but its worth considering that its not just a romantic relationship for your current friendships tradeoff... you may come out of it down your friends, and not up anything.

This is true, but would you rather have a for-sure lack of relationship, or moving and at least having a chance?

Like many of us have said already, friends come and go, and there's nothing wrong with saying "See ya later" to some friends to go off and find yourself in the world. I don't think Mat necessarily has to give up his old friends, but there's something to be said for moving on, especially at his age.

Ivhon
07-20-2009, 10:50 AM
Im loathe to tell you what to do, as that decision has to be from the heart. You will find the right path for yourself.

If you can afford a counseling session or two it might be a great idea - particularly the non-religious counselors. Check around in Chattanooga, Atlanta, Asheville, Greenville (assuming these are all moderately close). Look for someone experienced in LGBT issues and that has a "humanistic" approach. Let them know that you are having trouble with a major decision and they will have some exercises that can help you learn what you most value right now.

Send me a PM if you want more specific help, I can provide some resources and more specific advice if you need.

Verin Mathwin
07-20-2009, 10:58 AM
Thanks guys I will definitely take what you have said into consideration. Transferring my credits shouldn't be an issue. Every student here is required to take 30 credit hours of Bible/Theology classes along with everything else and I have worked hard to get ahead (credit-wise) a whole year of where I am supposed to be apart from the Bible classes, and I have taken many electives, so yeah that shouldn't be much of an issue.

I guess my two biggest fears of transferring are that I have never moved before so that's kind of intimidating. When I came to this college I already knew quite a few people here and everything so it really wasn't a transition from where I was. Second, is that my parents don't know, and they are your typical right wing conservative Christian with a not so accepting view on homosexuality. I don't really think that they would completely reject me but I do think that they would take it out on themselves badly. Like they have somehow failed as parents... especially with they past that I have with my parents (My mom was abusive, and my dad has issues too). I don't want to hurt them. I realize that that will probably come someday, but I don't know.

Anyway I am meeting my friends up at my house in Ohio this Thursday, and I will talk it over with them and see where this goes.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-20-2009, 11:03 AM
Seeing as you are religious.... Prayer?

Brita
07-20-2009, 11:07 AM
Second, is that my parents don't know, and they are your typical right wing conservative Christian with a not so accepting view on homosexuality. I don't really think that they would completely reject me but I do think that they would take it out on themselves badly. Like they have somehow failed as parents... especially with they past that I have with my parents (My mom was abusive, and my dad has issues too). I don't want to hurt them. I realize that that will probably come someday, but I don't know.


That's really tough Mat. I was "disowned" by my conservative Christian parents for a year after I moved in with my now husband. They literally did not talk to me until the day of my wedding. That was a brutal time, and I can't imagine dealing with a "frowned on" issue that isn't going to resolve, like yours. At least with mine, I knew once I married the bridges would be mended. Having grown up in a once alcoholic household, that swung to conservative Christianity, I can somewhat understand your situation and your worry.

When my parents rejected me, the worst wasn't that they weren't talking to me, but it was knowing my mom was crying every night...it was really rough. If you ever need to talk about it, I'd be more than happy to.

Ishara
07-20-2009, 11:11 AM
Moving is scary. So is meeting new people.

It's definitely easier to make a fresh start when you're new though - there is no one to tell you that you've "changed" or that you're posing, you know?

The trick I think will be to put yourself out there - just to meet people. I'm not talking relationship-wise, but just to meet like-minded (and I don't mean just LGBT people, but any people who come from similar backgrounds, who have similar experiences and can better understand and therefore help you). So joining groups, participating in activities and generally not hiding in your room will all be helpful (and scary) things to do.

It's not impossible. But youhave to be sure that you're doing things for the right reasons and that you consider your long-term peace of mind and happiness when you make your decision.

Davian93
07-20-2009, 11:14 AM
Having moved a bunch of times in the 9 years I've lived on my own, the first move is the hardest. After that, its not bad at all and I've found it gives me a much better perspective on things after having lived in a lot of different locations.

Personally, if I were you, I would move if for no other reason than you'll probably regret it later if you don't move. Or you'll always ponder the "what if" of the whole thing.

Good luck with your decision.

Isabel
07-20-2009, 11:48 AM
I hope everything turns out all right, Mat....

It must be a very hard decision. I am also not good at making friends, but it is indeed handy to transfer during college, because than you will meet a lot of new people.

However, it doesn't guarantee that you will meet someone special as has been said before. But probably they will be more accepting to you being gay.

ONe point i do want to raise:
Second, is that my parents don't know, and they are your typical right wing conservative Christian with a not so accepting view on homosexuality

Do you intend to tell your parents and moving to a new location at the same time? That would be really tough....
Perhaps an idea to see if you can find another reason to move, which is close to the truth and would be acceptable to your parents? Because than you can tell them later, after you have settled?
(or wouldn't that be handy? I am not sure if that would be handy, but i am thinking that both things is really difficult)

Birgitte
07-20-2009, 03:00 PM
I already gave you my two cents, so I'll just add this: I've missed you, Aes Sedai of mine. ~hugs~

Crispin's Crispian
07-20-2009, 03:18 PM
So, I am a little unsure about what to do. I go to a small Christian College in Northeast Georgia. I will be a junior in the fall so that means I have two years left. I like it here a lot. I have some really amazing friends that I love dearly.


Something else I haven't seen mentioned. Are you thinking about graduate school? It sounds likely that you'll have to move for that, anyway, so that makes waiting a bit more palatable.

Another option is to transfer to a school that has the grad program you want so you can get in with the profs and community ahead of time.

How far is your college from the nearest big town? Would it be impossible to drive into town on the weekends to meet new people?

On a more personal level, going to college and getting what you want out of it is inherently selfish. All your friends are there for the same reason, presumably, and I'd be surprised if they would resent you if you transferred. Hell, that's what Facebook and the interwebz are for. :D


Good luck, man. I hope you find what you are looking for, where ever you decide to look.

Purple Dragon
07-20-2009, 03:59 PM
Deep Breath...

trust me, dude. it's MUCH worse in your head than it will be in reality. keep your buddies' emails, phone numbers etc. and keep the contact...

once you have a foundation, moving isn't really a problem at all. i remember i used to be really nervous about travelling too, up untill i actually DID...now... heh... a trip has to be at least 1000 miles before it's of any concern;) i'm sure it'll be the same for you and moving to a different college.

'sides... Mat... you're not really some lil' nervous kid, whos not able to take care of yourself, so... deep breath... jump;)

and as you can see, you can always get advice and help HERE too... if and when you need it:)

GonzoTheGreat
07-20-2009, 04:05 PM
Some of the advice will even be good, though you won't know which is which until afterwards.

Purple Dragon
07-20-2009, 04:27 PM
Some of the advice will even be good, though you won't know which is which until afterwards.

unless it comes from ME or a member of my extended family...

Zanguini
07-20-2009, 09:58 PM
has to be at least 1000 miles before it's of any concern;)


1000 miles any one way puts you at least a different country and possibly two or three countries away. here its just one or two states down

DeiwosTheSkyGod
07-20-2009, 10:14 PM
Really good advice in this thread - basically boils down to staying, and knowing what you're gonna get for the next two years, or moving, and having it be up in the air. If your unhappiness outweighs the good parts of where you are, I'd say get out of there. Your real friends will understand, and the rest won't matter, anyway.

Good luck, Mat, and you know we're always here if you need us.

Terez
07-20-2009, 11:27 PM
Another thing to consider is that, if you move, chances are that most gay folks you meet at other schools won't be religious (most gay folks I know aren't, anyway...for fairly obvious reasons) ....and it seems as if your religion is important to you. It might be hard to find gay guys at your school, but at least there's a good chance they'll be on the same page as you.

I dunno how it is up there in Buttnuts, but around here there are a few churches that are openly accepting of gay folks, and since there are only a few, pretty much all the religious gay folks go to those churches. If you could find a place like that, then that would probably be a great way to meet guys.

But yeah, follow thy heart, and all. Like I said, I had a hard time understanding why you went there in the first place, but I'm just trying to throw some ideas out there in case you want to stay.

Davian93
07-21-2009, 06:24 AM
You should move to Mass or VT, both have very open gay communities. And a fairly large amount of gay friendly churches between the Unitarians and Episcopals.

StrangePackage
07-21-2009, 09:02 AM
Nah, he can move like 2 hours, and be in Asheville, with the largest per capita homosexual population outside of San Francisco.

No need to move to the frozen north when he can just hide in one of the holes in the bible belt.

Davian93
07-21-2009, 09:04 AM
Nah, he can move like 2 hours, and be in Asheville, with the largest per capita homosexual population outside of San Francisco.

No need to move to the frozen north when he can just hide in one of the holes in the bible belt.

Asheville was once described to me as an Oasis in that its completely surrounded by hundreds of miles of rednecks. Still, its supposedly a really nice town...heck Biltmore is there (a place we really want to visit).

The frozen north is the best and progressive part of the country...well, besides New Hampshire and even NH is moving forward quickly.

Zanguini
07-21-2009, 09:08 AM
The frozen north has to be Progressive if you dont keep moving you will freeze to death.

GonzoTheGreat
07-21-2009, 09:19 AM
The frozen north is the best and progressive part of the country...well, besides New Hampshire and even NH is moving forward quickly.Sarah Palin is the most progressive of the four (vice-)presidential candidates of last elections?
That's a shock, I have to admit. :p

Davian93
07-21-2009, 09:20 AM
Sarah Palin is the most progressive of the four (vice-)presidential candidates of last elections?
That's a shock, I have to admit. :p

Huh?

Brita
07-21-2009, 09:21 AM
Nah, he can move like 2 hours, and be in Asheville, with the largest per capita homosexual population outside of San Francisco.

No need to move to the frozen north when he can just hide in one of the holes in the bible belt.

Ya, but what kind of higher education can he get is Asheville? I think that is one of his main considerations....

But I like your belt-hole analogy :D

Davian93
07-21-2009, 09:24 AM
Ya, but what kind of higher education can he get is Asheville? I think that is one of his main considerations....

But I like your belt-hole analogy :D

A quick google search reveals slim pickings for Asheville colleges:

UNC-Asheville
Shaw University?
South College?
Mars Hill?

Never heard of any of the latter 3.

StrangePackage
07-21-2009, 09:26 AM
Mars Hill is a very well regarded liberal arts college, and UNC-A is one of the best schools in the UNC system, after UNC.

But Asheville is full of young people in general. So, while the school choice might be a little limited (compared to a larger area like, say, the Triangle) it's still a good environment.

Davian93
07-21-2009, 09:35 AM
Mars Hill is a very well regarded liberal arts college, and UNC-A is one of the best schools in the UNC system, after UNC.

But Asheville is full of young people in general. So, while the school choice might be a little limited (compared to a larger area like, say, the Triangle) it's still a good environment.

Hmm...good to know.

I suppose it depends on what his major is then.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-21-2009, 09:36 AM
Nah, he can move like 2 hours, and be in Asheville, with the largest per capita homosexual population outside of San Francisco.

Thought that was Austin, TX?

Ivhon
07-21-2009, 09:40 AM
Asheville also has an artsy hippy-liberal vibe - which can either be a plus or a minus.

No arguing it is a BEAUTIFUL area though. Only reason we didnt move there is that it is just a bit too small.

StrangePackage
07-21-2009, 09:43 AM
Dude, it's the largest city within 2 hours of where I am. It may be small, but compared to where Verin is coming from, it's Gotham.

Verin Mathwin
07-21-2009, 09:48 AM
I am from the frozen North so if ever needed to move back up there I could though I much prefer the South. Snow is not my friend.

I have looked at Asheville, and schools near Atlanta. B told me that I should go to Houston which I also looked into. If I do transfer it won't be until Spring semester so I have plenty of time to decide what I am going to do.

Ivhon
07-21-2009, 09:50 AM
Thought that was Austin, TX?

courtesy wikipedia - interestingly, Austin is on the list for metro population, but not city. Atlanta (also right down the road) is vice-versa. Ashville probably doesnt have a big enough population to hit the radar on these stats.

Not that any of this is necessarily important to Mat at all - we're just babbling about what we think might be of interest (Im practicing a thought process, here...dont get your panties/boxers in a wad)

Rank Metro Area Percentage
of Metro
Population GLB Population
population rank
1 San Francisco 8.2% 256,313 4
2 Seattle 6.5% 154,835 11
3 Boston 6.2% 201,344 5
4 Portland 6.1% 94,027 21
5 Tampa 5.9% 119,044 16
6 Austin 5.9% 61,732 29
7 Denver 5.8% 99,027 19
8 Minneapolis 5.7% 130,472 15
9 Orlando 5.7% 81,272 24
10 Hartford 5.6% 49,000 33

Rank City Percentage
of City
Population GLB Population
population rank
1 San Francisco 15.4% 94,234 4
2 Seattle 12.9% 57,993 9
3 Atlanta 12.8% 39,805 12
4 Minneapolis 12.5% 34,295 16
5 Boston 12.3% 50,540 10
6 Sacramento 9.8% 32,108 20
7 Portland 8.8% 35,413 14
8 Denver 8.2% 33,698 17
9 Washington 8.1% 32,599 18
10 Orlando 7.7% 12,508 36

Davian93
07-21-2009, 09:52 AM
I am stunned that Burlington, VT is not on either list...must be a mistake.

Ivhon
07-21-2009, 09:54 AM
I am stunned that Burlington, VT is not on either list...must be a mistake.

too small, Im sure. Halfway surprised that Austin was on the list considering all the other places are big cities.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-21-2009, 09:56 AM
Houston does have a rather large population, though they tend to be the non-flamboyant type. No roller-skates with hot pants and wings, for instance. But that's in keeping with most of the rest of Houston. We tend to be an understated bunch. The only color we care about is green, and the only creed we care about is your work ethic.


Austin has Leslie, however.

Davian93
07-21-2009, 10:01 AM
too small, Im sure. Halfway surprised that Austin was on the list considering all the other places are big cities.

True, the entire Champlain Valley (VT side anyway) only has a population of 200K. Burlington proper is only about 35K of that.

Ivhon
07-21-2009, 10:04 AM
True, the entire Champlain Valley (VT side anyway) only has a population of 200K. Burlington proper is only about 35K of that.

I miss New England

Verin Mathwin
07-21-2009, 10:04 AM
non-flamboyant is great. Flamboyant makes me think camp, and I am definitely not camp nor do I find it attractive.