32 hilarious, sad, perfect tweets that nail what small-town life is like for gay people.

1. As a gay person, growing up in a small town can have its downsides.

2. It's tough.

3. For starters, your gayness seems to be the one defining thing about you.

4. And it's even harder if there's something else that's "different" about you too.

Eternally relevant memo: LGBTQ people exist across all communities in every country on Earth (including small towns!).

5. You're constantly being asked "the question."

Not to mention its cousin: "You're still single?"


(*screams with rage into the abyss*)

6. If you're out and proud, you might be flaunting it like nobody's business...

7. ...until you remember that's not always safe, depending on where you are.

Image via tchaikovsgay/Tumblr.

"You know what’s great?" this Tumblr user captioned the photo above. "Putting some gay stickers on your car and promptly remembering Missouri hates gay people."

8. Spotting another gay couple out in the wild is always pretty exciting.

9. There's not a whole lot do to in town already — but there's even less to do than if you were straight.

10. A lot of the time, it can feel like the world is against you.

11. Being gay in a small town is almost like being famous. Almost.

12. Big family events can become needlessly complicated.

13. But you'll work hard to find pride in yourself wherever you are.

14. If you're out of the closet, your dating options can be ... limited at best.

15. And meeting other people on dating apps is exponentially more challenging.

16. Like, really challenging.

Image via mywickedway/Twitter.

*yells into megaphone* "Is anybody out there?"

17. Because the dating struggle is real when you're a small-town gay in need of some serious gas money.

18. Even finding like-minded friends can be hard.

Thanks, Mom.

19. You definitely know what it's like to crush on someone who doesn't return the feelings.

20. And you look for signs that you'll be accepted wherever you go.

Literally any sign will do.

21. Like, even this poster for a scary movie about clowns is a fierce artistic inspiration to a small town gay.

22. Sometimes it feels like those scary movie monsters are the only ones that get you, actually.

Which, yes, is very sad. Do better, Hollywood.

23. Your neighbors likely disagree with your political viewpoints.

24. If more of us felt supported in small towns, there would be no bounds to the good we could do politically.

25. Maybe the most difficult thing about being gay in a small town is the feeling that no one truly understands you.

26. But here's the thing: Sometimes your small town might surprise you in the best ways.

27. Even in small-town Middle America, there are places that will love and accept you.

28. Being able to connect with pop culture outside your town definitely helps a lot, though.

29. And thank goodness for the rebellious teachers who give you the courage to be who you are.

30. Not to mention those life-changing art and drama classes where you found safety and comfort.

31. Because for all their flaws (and there are many), small towns don't always deserve their reputations.

They can be pretty damn great.

32. Hopeful even.

Image via Tumblr user Mo-Mosa/Tumblr.

"You guys know what I just realized? Despite living in a Republican small town, I — a queer, Native-Afro-Latina — was voted Homecoming Queen in the fall and class president of my senior class. I was also one of the leads in my school's musical. Three years ago, I thought I'd never be accepted and that I'd never have friends. I was scared to speak up and scared of being seen. There is hope, y'all. Things get better."

— Tumblr user Mo-Mosa

🏳️‍🌈 Positive change can't come soon enough. 🏳️‍🌈

Fortunately, there are many organizations fighting the good fight with state and local chapters in your own backyard, should you want the support:

  • PFLAG is a nonprofit committed to strengthening the bonds between LGBTQ people, their families, and allies in their communities. Its work is crucial in smaller cities and towns across America.
  • The Trevor Project is an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention group helping kids who feel as though they have no one to turn to. They save lives in small towns.
  • GLSEN is a national organization aiming to make schools across the country as LGBTQ-friendly and inclusive as possible. Because our small-town schools (and all of our schools, really) need improving.
  • The Genders and Sexualities Alliance (formerly the Gay-Straight Alliance) brings LGBTQ students and their straight, cisgender peers together to build bridges and understanding.

This post was updated 12/14/2017.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less