the reason people think there's no queers down south is because we don't get media representation so folks have no idea what southern/rural/country queers look like, also we're much better at camouflage.

like maybe there's less of us in absolute numbers cuz of population density and it's harder for us to congregate but i reckon the per capita numbers are about the same

@Sapphicgiraffic The reason that queer people are associated with large urban areas such as San Francisco and New York is entirely due to migration.

Basically, an isolated 19th century rural queer person who never sees any queer folks in media isn't going to think of themselves as queer, they're going to think of themselves as being cursed or wrong in the head.

Then industrialisation happens, people amass in cities, and suddenly people start to find other people who are like them.

@Sapphicgiraffic Next thing you know, you have communities of queer people forming. At first they keep it on the down low because, you know, laws. Then as they start to become more comfortable they become louder. Businesses spring up to cater to them. The law ignores it for the most part but sends in thugs to enforce things whenever they need to look like they're on the side of 'morality'.

Then the community eventually starts fighting back.

@Sapphicgiraffic Now you've got Stonewall. You've got visibility. You've got a gay district in San Francisco. In London you've got SOHO. Affluent Queer people move to these urban centres once more to be with like-minded people.

Meanwhile, those with no money stuck in rural areas are being made aware that they're queer, but a crackdown of portrayals in media shows them as serial killers and perverts. If they appear they're shown as the villains, and they're not allowed to have happy endings.

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@Sapphicgiraffic So the rural queers continue to slink in the shadows for years.

And then the internet happens.

@Sapphicgiraffic Suddenly to be a part of the community you don't have to be in an urban centre.

To see portrayals of queer people you don't have to watch the stereotypes seen inTV and movies.

You can just log online and talk to people who are like you, and be queer and comfortable in your identity. You can speak to people in the same position as you two towns over, who you'd never have learned about otherwise. You can meet, and you can express yourself.

Dialup changes everything.

@Sapphicgiraffic And now we're seeing the results of that 20-30 years on, and the world's completely different. We now have a generation of queer people for whom the internet is the only thing they've ever known, and so they're much more comfortable with talking about and expressing their gender and their sexuality.

Young queer people can see reflections of themselves both online and in the plethora of traditional media. It's by no means perfect, but it's normalising.

@Sapphicgiraffic As for the 'all the gay folks are in the cities' stereotype in media? That's going to disappear soon. That exists because it's what Boomers saw and taught to Gen X, and because most creative industries are in cities themselves.

I predict that within the next few years there'll be some big streaming series set in a small sothern town with a multiple queer characters, and it'll be treated as being completely incidental, and nobody will bat an eyelid because it'll seem so normal.

@Sapphicgiraffic Anyway, this has been your usual 'cis white dude gets carried away and lectures everyone else on their own history' moment for today. I hope it was at least interesting.

@Vordus very handy to see it all laid out so cleanly, thank you

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