By Timothy Allsop. Originally published on Medium, 22 July 2020.
For a long time I felt the best way to live a gay life was to move to the city because that is where I saw other gay people, gay venues, and gay culture. In the books I read, and the films I watched, there was a recurring narrative of an ‘escape’ to the city. Didier Eribon and Eduard Louis offered two of the most compelling of these kinds of stories, but at the end of Eribon’s excellent memoir, Returning to Reims, he also pointed out that, ‘there are also places where gay people meet in small towns and in the country’ and that there are rural places where ‘forms of sociability and relationality that, even if less numerous, less concentrated, and less visible, are no less real’.