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t.j.2125

Is Charlotte Gay Friendly?

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I'm just wondering how open Charlotte and its residents are to the gay population. Even though it's the conservative South, I keep hearing that Charlotte is also a very cosmopolitan and artsy city. Is this true? Are people pretty open-minded? As someone who is thinking of relocating to the city, I'd love to hear from both sides.

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Since no one is answering your question, I'll give it a shot.

Personally, I don't know one way or another, and I'm also not sure in comparison to other cities.

Charlotte, in general, though, has a culture that is very business-like. People tend to act in a manner than would be appropriate at work in a professional business environment. Does that make sense? It would be extremely inappropriate to make racist or sexist or homophobic remarks at work, and so people act the same way out of work. At the same time, I think it is extremely uncommon to see couples (gay or straight) being affectionate in public.

If your perception of tolerance is something like Amsterdam, where everything goes on in public, and no one minds... that is not Charlotte. But if your perception of tolerance is like how most people act in a business environment, then that is definitely Charlotte.

Others might have a different take on it, though.

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Since no one is answering your question, I'll give it a shot.

Personally, I don't know one way or another, and I'm also not sure in comparison to other cities.

Charlotte, in general, though, has a culture that is very business-like. People tend to act in a manner than would be appropriate at work in a professional business environment. Does that make sense? It would be extremely inappropriate to make racist or sexist or homophobic remarks at work, and so people act the same way out of work. At the same time, I think it is extremely uncommon to see couples (gay or straight) being affectionate in public.

If your perception of tolerance is something like Amsterdam, where everything goes on in public, and no one minds... that is not Charlotte. But if your perception of tolerance is like how most people act in a business environment, then that is definitely Charlotte.

Others might have a different take on it, though.

Thanks for your response. It's strange to still have to ask questions like this in today's day and age, but unfortunately there are still lots of places where to be gay means having to afraid of the consequences. I am not into public displays of affection, from gay or straight people. I just want to be a part of a community in which people respect each other for who and what they are. Sometimes the places where Christianity is most prominent are the places where you run into the most trouble.

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Well since I am Gay and have lived here a long time, I will answer it this way. There are bigots everywhere just as their are very accepting people and Charlotte is no exception. While I have had friends physically attacked for being Gay in Charlotte, it has never happened to me and almost everywhere I have lived I have had very accepting neighbors. There is a very active Gay community here and over the years I have been involved in much of it doing volunteer work and even serving on the board of several Gay organizations. There is a lot here for a Gay person so I would not worry about that aspect of things if you are planning to locate here.

So I would say that Charlotte really isn't any different than any other similar sized city in the USA. You will find both tolerance and bigotry here but it really has never been an issue for me.

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I have not seen any same sex couples holding hands in Charlotte. Perhaps I haven't been in the right areas, ie in NY (where I'm from) you will see tons of publically affectionate gay people in the Village but not nearly as many on the upper east side.

Prior to relocating here, I had a Charlotte friend say that its not a good city to come to if you're single. Charlotte is very family oriented and I've heard many people who are single say that its not easy meeting someone new. I suspect that this might be doubly true if you are gay. But if you're coming here as a unit already and are not very demonstrative or flamboyant in demeanor & dress, I think you could move most anywhere in Charlotte with little incident. But I'm not sure if that's enough to make you feel comfortable.

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Charlotte has been known as family oriented, soccer mom... for quite a few years (80's,90's)... Eventually these kids in the soccer mom families are going to grow up, with the growth of UNCC and Johnson and Wales and hoping the economy holds up, they may be likely to stay in Charlotte.

I'm just saying this because the singles scene would then grow, and Charlotte would have a younger demographic.

I havent been to Charlotte since 1998 and haven't gone out there and mingled since 1997(When I went to Scorpios) , I'm just guessing by logic, people age, kids grow...

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But if you're coming here as a unit already and are not very demonstrative or flamboyant in demeanor & dress, I think you could move most anywhere in Charlotte with little incident. But I'm not sure if that's enough to make you feel comfortable.

The vast majority of Gays do not walk around with purses and talk with a lisp. :rolleyes:

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Although I cannot speak for Charlotte, some interesting things I've observed over the years:

(Many old generalizations have thruth but also have notable exceptions and contradictions)

*Not all people who are homophobic are that way for religious or ideologial reasons. Sometimes it's just gay or eccentric lifestyles fit into some cultures better than others. I think most of those who do the harassing do it based on machismo rather than religion...

*Not all religious conservatives I've met are anti-gay, and I;ve also met many who either think homosexualuty is sinful or in the case of conservative Catholics, disordered, but they'll still respect the gay person and even be friends with them, treating them better than some non-religious people would (love the sinner hate the sin). I'm openly gay and had this experience many times.

*There are many people who are "anti-gay" but due to their polite upbrings they'll live by the "I don't have to like a person in order to respect them"

*Theres more to a person than their sexual orientation, in one town a person may be far less likely to be given a hard time for being "gay" but even more likely to be looked down on for some other reason like maybe social class... SO perspective is important...

*Ive seen environments among macho straight guys where they'd be far more accepting of a guy they knew were gay but was also into sports, cars, hunting, than they would an eccentric intellectual straight guy who was into Opera and organic food...

How any of this applies to the Charlotte region I'll leave up to the locals to determine since they know best... ;)

***Here's my main point: Too many people use the red state/blue state (or county) concept to determine whether they will fit in or not, but its far more complex than that in real life... One needs to talk to the locals who are of a similar walk of like to get perspective... Statistics arent everything and many people behave one way in the voting booth and another way in private...

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I work at an area mall, and Im pleased to report that I see gay people holding hands on a daily basis. Interesting to note that more then not it seems to be lesbian couples as opposed to gay men. Thats a whole other topic, but I think its great to see. Charlotte is making great strides in the way of "tolerance", not to be mistaken for "acceptance".

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Here's a way to think about it:

Eventually things will be better in just about every city. Some cities are further along than others... If every gay person refused to live anywhere that wasnt a gay mecca, more conservative places will never make progress... If your a gay person moving into a gay community that is just on the edge of blossoming but still on the edge, you can think of yourself as a pioneer.

A decade later lets say Charlotte gay comm. really blossoms, You can always look back and feel that you were among the brave pioneers an the gay fronteir! :)

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No, Charlotte is not gay friendly in my opinion. The only gay friendly places in the South are the very large metros (Atlanta, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale) and a few smaller cities like New Orleans, Savannah and Asheville NC to some extent.

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The vast majority of Gays do not walk around with purses and talk with a lisp.

I never suggested that they did.

Anyway, I have a family member that is gay and he expressed that he & his partner were a bit uncomfortable when visiting. Some of that, I think, was a bit of paranoia but then I'm not gay and perhaps they picked up on things that I would miss.

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Anyway, I have a family member that is gay and he expressed that he & his partner were a bit uncomfortable when visiting. Some of that, I think, was a bit of paranoia but then I'm not gay and perhaps they picked up on things that I would miss.

It was undeserved paranoia.

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I guess that's a judgement each person will make on their own. You feel it was undeserved, others like socaguy, state that Charlotte is not gay friendly.

Understanding and accepting that there are different opinions and perspectives on subject like these is part of what being "tolerant" of others is about, imo.

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Understanding and accepting that there are different opinions and perspectives on subject like these is part of what being "tolerant" of others is about, imo.

Indeed. Yet you continue to "preach" and talk down to others on this board as you are doing here. Take your own advice and go look in the mirror next time you feel the urge to do this. :sick:

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I guess that's a judgement each person will make on their own. You feel it was undeserved, others like socaguy, state that Charlotte is not gay friendly.

Understanding and accepting that there are different opinions and perspectives on subject like these is part of what being "tolerant" of others is about, imo.

Understanding and accepting, sure, but qualifying a statement with "in my opinion" shouldn't protect it from critical evaluation. For instance, socaguy may think Charlotte is not gay friendly, but he also stated in another thread that he doesn't live in Charlotte and isn't qualified to remark on other aspects of its culture. For somebody like tj2125 who actually has a vested interest in this topic, simply accepting that various opinions exist isn't going to be good enough.

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you are right, ngp. I agree that critical evaluation is important in all these discussions. I hope that you are critically evaluating what is going on in this and other threads now. I am. I would hope that this forum is just one of many ways is which tj2125 is gathering information on the Charlotte area and shaping an opinion about it.

I did find it helpful to come here and ask questions about Charlotte, ie I learned a lot about the reasons why Eastlake Mall has a reputation here that didn't mesh with my experiences when visiting it. This can be a resource for me but its certainly not my only one, ya dig?

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I did find it helpful to come here and ask questions about Charlotte, ie I learned a lot about the reasons why Eastlake Mall has a reputation here that didn't mesh with my experiences when visiting it.

Maybe you are referring to Eastland as the place you experienced. As far as I know there is no Eastlake mall in Charlotte.

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I can remember being in Atlanta a decade ago, visiting a friend. He was trying to get me to move there. Atlanta was in the ranks of South Beach, New Orleans... as not only THE hot places for gays to move to in the SE but among the only places. When I would ask him about Charlotte, Nashville, Raleigh, Richmond... he's just make a condescendng remark. I did some research and argued that there were a number of gay bars listed for these "small towns" and spouted off some population stats being the geek that I am. He couldn't understand why I would waste my time when Atlanta is so great. It kinda did seem like a lot of fun, it had its problems but I had to swallow my pride and admit Atlanta was cool. Here in snowy Wilkes-Barre I'd listen to these gay men coning home to visit telling us about how great it is in Atlanta, South Beach... I couldn't understand why I cared about these small to mid sized cities anyway...

Looking back on it all I think I know part of the reason. The irony!

Being able to feel like you discovered something new. Being able to be somewhere where you can invite your old friends down and show them YES Nashville, home of country music has GAY clubs, OR That theres skyscrapers in North Carolina...lol (Why I get more exited to see pics of Palm Trees in Nice, France than in an obvious place like Hawaii) Why a new skyscraper in Norfolk is more exiting than one in NYC... AND why going gay clubbing in Charlotte or maybe Knoxville or Des Moines can be interesting in it's own ironic, forbidden fruit kinda way(provided your not gay-bashed...;))...

Not to get off topic but if anyone understands what I'm trying to say, this could als o be partly why places like Charlotte and Raleigh although not THE fastest growing places seem to get so much attention on these forums and why a CLT vs Nashville thread can get far more ...emotional than Syracuse vs. Cleveland.

Just move to where you find the best job, best weather, lowest crime.....whatever, but unless it's really anti-gay or physically dangerous, I'd say be brave, be a pioneer. You'd be doing the gay community a favor in the long run. :)

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I moved here a year ago from Charleston,SC. Charleston is not gay friendly. But, being a coastal resort town it has a live and let live attitude. Back to Charlotte. Its a conservative banking town = conservative, but I have found I can live a very happy open gay life here. I wold not call Charlotte gay friendly overall but relatively tolerant inside the core. I live in Dilworth and this area is gay friendly and open minded. I would say most of the city which is composed of close in neighborhoods are great places for gays to live: Dilworth, Plaza Midwood, Elizabeth, Uptown. I just drove through Wilmore today and one street there has three houses flying HRC and Rainbow flags. Who would have thought that could happen in stuffy Charlotte, NC? I realize that outside of the center city conservatism and rightwing Christianity reigns but that is the case in many big cities like ATL. As Charlotte grows and attracts more educated transplants I only see the atmosphere improving for gays, regardless of what Bill James or King Pat say! Plus, Asheville is barely two hours away!! Thank goodness!

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I learned a lot about the reasons why Eastlake Mall has a reputation here that didn't mesh with my experiences when visiting it. This can be a resource for me but its certainly not my only one, ya dig?

Interesting that you wrote this the same day someone got shot INSIDE the mall.

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Can you clarify what's interesting about that? Just curious.

I'm assuming that you heard that Eastland is a dangerous place to go. After all, that is its reputation. But because no one was robbed or beaten while you happened to be there, you say it didn't live up to its reputation (at least that's how I'm reading your post). The same day you wrote the post, gunshots sent people scrambling for cover inside Eastland after a man pulled out a gun during a fight at the Food Court and shot someone. So yeah, I found it interesting.

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Gotcha and I understand how you could see that as interesting.

Can I tell you what I find interesting? That until this last incident at Eastland that the most recent violent incidences at shopping malls (that I know of) were the shootings in the Southpark parking lots and yet none of the people warning me about Eastland ever bothered to tell me "watch your back when in the lots of Southpark".

Crazy right?

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