Is Kentucky dangerous for gays?

My fiancee and I are going on a group climbing trip to the Red River Gorge. There will be two straight couples and two lesbian couples. My sister and her girlfriend are suddenly getting a bunch of anecdotal warnings from friends, including American friends from North Carolina. “Make sure you aren’t ‘public’ in any way!”

We’re talking a deluge of personal tales of terror from all sorts of friends and acquaintances.

Eg/ The North Carolina friends were terrified when a driver in a pick-up saw them holding hands and pulled up alongside them, leaned on his horn and start screaming the most vile obscenities at them while gesturing towards the fully stocked gun rack behind him, and swerving towards them, threatening to run them off the road.

So now my sister and her girlfriend, my cousin and her girlfriend (oh, yeah, it’s totally our gene pool) are worried. While my sister’s girlfriend is Girly McFemme, my sister plays tons of sports so has that short faux-hawk that’s de rigueur in the lesbian sport-gal scene ( I had hips and boobies we’d be twins). Heck, my fiancee has a short, sporty do that has resulted in getting her called “Sir” a few times, despite her delicate, girly-girl features.

So will my “butchy” sister be a target in the rural woods of Kentucky? Or are all these cautionary tales embellished?

I never had any problems. Though there are areas where I wouldn’t show any PDA.

We went white water rafting out in the sticks (though that was actually in West Virginia) and didn’t have any issues. And this was about as backwoods as you can get.

I’m assuming people are just being alarmists with their warnings.

My sister really is obviously gay, so they’re making us paranoid.

I wouldn’t call myself overly obvious…but my boyfriend is. (the term ‘flaming fag’ comes to mind when thinking about him) People that I know or have encountered from that area have pretty much been the ‘I won’t bother you if you don’t bother me’ types. That’s why I suggest that her and the GF not engage in PDA around the locals.

I have family from the hills of tennessee and have been in that area quite a bit. I really don’t think you’ll have any problems. Go and have fun! Just don’t break your necks. :wink:

Anecdotal, but my ex was up from Kentucky visiting my son and out of the blue told me that the cops stopped him and a guy and the ex thought he and the buddy were gay. It wouldn’t surprise me if there are areas that are unaccepting of gays.

Here’s their gay ranking by zip code stats:
http://www.gaydemographics.org/USA/states/kentucky/2000Census_state_ky.htm

I have no idea of the climate in KY but your ex may have been in a trolling area. We have a number of parks in my area where gay people like to hook up with little intent on learning each other’s first name.

Ah I wouldn’t mind that. That’s just a mating ritual in dem there parts.

As I recall, he said he was walking down the highway after a breakdown. You may be right. Or he may have actually been gay and somehow engaged in a display of some sort.

I grew up 20 miles from the Gorge, and I live about an hour away now.

No doubt, there are plenty of homophobic idiots around, probably in a higher than average concentration, and if a gay couple told me that someone gave them shit it wouldn’t surprise me all that much.

That said, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. Plenty of gay folks live around here, and tons more visit the area every year. (You’re not the first carload of lesbians to go rock climbing. :slight_smile: ) You probably won’t even raise any eyebrows, and most of the people who do notice won’t care.

I’d be a little more worried if you were guys; the sort of idiots that would harass you usually don’t have nearly so much of a thing about lesbians. But even for them, I’d just take the sort of precautions you’d take if you were going anywhere.

Have a great time!

That’s more reassuring. With all the gear we’ve got, we’ll be traveling in separate cars and all the gloom and doom was making the queer carloads nervous.

And my buddy and I are manly men, so no one would harass us. (Besides, my girlfriend would protect me. She’s feisty!)

Ditto’ing DoctorJ here. I’ve been to the Gorge more times than I can count; it’s filled with city folks on hiking trips.

You’d probably encounter the same number of idiots up there as anywhere but despite the Hatfield 'n McCoy image, most mountain folks in my experience are very hospitable and friendly.

Speaking of the Hatfields and McCoy’s, I went to church with descendents of both families. It was rather amusing.

Did they fling spitballs or something?

Nah, the feud has been over for a century. They are far enough removed from the original conflict that it was more of just a joke.

I don’t remember seeing any true native locals while whitewater rafting. The rafters are generally not from the area and the guides are just there for the summer.

Go into a small town or stop at a mom & pop store or truck stop, I don’t think you want to do any PDA there.

Is Kentucky dangerous for gays?

Not unless you frighten the horses.

I read somewhere that the two families have an annual joint reunion.

We did. :slight_smile: I’m not much of a PDA person anyway, even in West Hollywood.

I wouldn’t worry about it one bit. I think anybody who had something to say to them would be the type who would harrass any vulnerable-looking (ie, no man around) female anyway.

Btw, Antinor, whereabouts in TN does your family live? Just curious, seeing as how I’ve lived here for 20+ years and all.

Morristown for a long time and it seems somewhere else around that region, but I was a kid when they lived there.