“I know you but I’ve never met you” – the pros and cons of living in a small gay community

Written by Mitchell

Our home of Perth, Western Australia has been called most isolated capital city in the world, and while I don’t know if that is 100% geographically accurate, it sure as hell feels that way sometimes.

Being a relatively small city cut off from other cities by miles upon miles of water or desert does create a sense of “togetherness.” It’s sort of hard to explain, but I think a lot of Perthians tend to forget that the world is bigger than just Perth. So when you take a small city like Perth, and then you narrow it down to the LGBT community, you end up with this small concentration of people who all stick together and all know each other.

It really is rather bizarre. I would not say that I am some over-the-top, obsessive “scene queen” who goes out onto the gay nightlife scene every weekend and tries to mingle with the in-crowds. However, I would say that I would know of around 75% of the gay community. I might not know them personally. But I would know their full name, I might have them on my Facebook, I might have seen them walk by me a dozen times, I might know someone who is dating them or I might know a friend of theirs. Or I just might have seen them on Grindr.

For better or for worse, the Perth gay scene is small and everyone tends to know each other. So I thought today I would run you through the pro’s and con’s of this situation.

 Pro

  •  You can usually avoid dating someone “dodgey” because you already know their reputation.

So many times I have had some guy try to talk to me and my thoughts have been, “no, this guy is a slut and he cheated on my friend’s friend all the time,” so he instantly becomes a no-go and many times I won’t even give this kind of person a chance.

Con

  •  It’s easy to get a bad reputation that just gets manipulated and it’s almost impossible to get a clean slate.

As I have got older, I have realised that you cannot just listen to what people say and believe it whole-heartedly. The gay world can sometimes play out like an episode of Survivor. There is backstabbing and blind sides. And at the end of the day, people will say whatever they need to do make themselves look and sound better.

I happen to know someone who, while they were young, did a few undeniably whorish things. I think it was all to do with that confusing phase in our lives where we are experimenting and finding out what it’s like to have these feelings and urges. This person did go a bit off the rails, and quickly it spread like wildfire that this person was a “slut” and had hooked up with people in public toilets etc. For the record, even though this person has been in a monogamous relationship for a year and a half now and has been an absolute saint, I still hear the odd person here and there talking about his “reputation”. It made me realise that whatever identity you shape for yourself in your early years really has an effect on how people see you in your 20’s. So I’m kind of glad that I was a bit of a late-bloomer! Haha

 Con

  • The gays that think because they are well known on the Perth gay scene that makes then worldly celebrities.

You wouldn’t believe the amount of people such as drag queens, dancers, photographers, writers or gay bar staff (or “publicists”) get a taste of what it’s like for everyone in their specific community to know who they are, and suddenly become up-themselves and think that the whole world now knows them. Being well known on the Perth gay scene, I hate to break it to them, is NOT hard to achieve. In fact, you don’t even have to be smart or talented. You do however, have to do a lot of sucking up, have a fondness for Gaga and have unlimited free time to devote yourself to the wearing of wigs and heels. I’ve seen so many Facebook “fan pages” people who go by stage personas more than they do their real names. It really is quite sad. I always just think to myself, what will these guys’ lives be like when they are in their thirties?

 Pros

  • Celebrations have the ability to go off!

Enough of the negative stuff, there are a few events on the Perth gay scene social calendar (Fairday, the Pride Parade and Pride after-party) that seem to go amazingly well. I think that if people are in a good mood, are drinking (responsibly) and are around people they love, they tend to have more of a good time. And sometimes, even being around familiar faces can lift your spirits. I’ve experienced moments of weakness being out for Pride or Fair Day where I actually just wanted to hug everyone (even people I usually wouldn’t even talk to) just because everyone has a sense of family and belonging and everyone is in a good mood. I think the LGBT community is at its best when it is united, and we sure know how to party.

 Pro and Con

  • You can’t get away from your ex!

Apart from a few that moved away, I still see a few ex’s of mine more times than I would like! They always pop up as a constant reminder of what used to be, or how low your standards used to be. I put this as a pro and a con, because I have actually retained a friendship with some of them because of the inability to lose touch, and it has actually been quite nice. I have the opinion that everyone enters your life for a reason, even people that ended up as bad relationships. Doesn’t mean they can’t be good friends.

It also is quite rewarding to compare yourself to them (let’s face it, we all do it) and see how much their life has gone downhill or hasn’t improved since you left it. I call it, the Bee effect. You screw me over, your life becomes a mess. haha! (but seriously, don’t screw me over!)

I’m sure there are a lot more that could be added too. If you live in a similar community, leave a comment! Let us know if you have any pros and cons you can add!

2 thoughts on ““I know you but I’ve never met you” – the pros and cons of living in a small gay community

  1. Jake says:

    Very bitchy. – buy I love it.

  2. tycurious says:

    3rd most isolated city 😛
    I hope you weren’t talking bout my fan page
    And I loved the shit out of this blog, your best one yet, by far!

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