What Is Pink Suburbia?

Interesting things and interesting people DO exist on the outskirts.

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Pink Suburbia

I remember watching a TV show a few years back called ‘Suburgatory’. It was an American sitcom about a New York teenager who’s father decided to move her to the suburbs so that she wouldn’t succumb to the big city’s temptations. And in her opinion, living in the suburbs was her idea of hell. I always wondered why. 

For me, the suburbs are a magical place. I love seeing the rows and rows of identical houses. I love walking on the high street and seeing familiar faces (even if I have never actually spoken to anyone). I love the quietness and calmness of a Sunday morning lie in, where I can actually hear birds chirping. It appears that for the most part I am alone in thinking like this, though. A quick google search and I found Suburbia to be one of the most hated terms on the internet. My favourite description of it was ‘Where dreams go to die’. How cheerful. But is the BIG CITY that much better? I mean, really?  To me it’s overcrowded, dirty and expensive. I’m happy to be where I am now, even though it does have it’s challenges.

Especially as an openly gay man. Luckily I’ve never had any traumatic negative experiences (although I’ve had a couple of not-so-nice moments), but I’ve always felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere one hundred percent. No matter how well people reacted to my coming out I still felt like the odd man out. I spent some time away, moved to a different country, got married, came back, and after all that came to a conclusion: this is where I want to be, despite the internal battle to feel included.

Being gay in the city is FABULOUS. Being gay in the suburbs, not as much. There aren’t any ‘gay’ pubs or bars, I don’t see that many gay couples walking down the street, hand in hand,  and straight people treat you nicely enough, but don’t really ask you about your life or your relationship, and sometimes it’s nice to talk about yourself a little bit! Maybe gay men flee from the suburbs, because they felt like I did growing up. The city greets them with open arms and a new world of possibilities. Which is true, even I have experienced it. I think all of us have to go through that at some point, whether its at university, or through travel. The problem for me is coming back, and wanting to find similar acceptance and opportunities in a place where I would like to plant some seeds and grow some roots.

With this blog, I wanted to share my point of view. Guys often want to prove themselves as the perfect ‘Modern Gay Man’. A man who is superbly dressed, works out regularly, and leads an exciting and active social life. And while that’s true for many guys (without stereotyping), it just isn’t the case for me. I work 9 to 5, come home and spend time with my husband, cook some dinner and watch some telly. My idea of exercise is 30 minutes on an exercise bike, followed by a few lazy sit ups. On the weekends I occasionally venture out, but I would be much happier staying home with a glass of wine and Netflix. Fabulously normal. But that’s OK. I have had some great adventures, and I still do! My dreams didn’t die. Interesting things and interesting people DO exist on the outskirts. Hopefully I can prove that with time.

Author: Matt Melo

Welcome to the neighborhood! Check out my blog for more info: www.pinksuburbia.com

9 thoughts on “What Is Pink Suburbia?”

  1. I was talking to my sister about gays in the city the other day. How it’s an every normal in London but the further out of town you go, the less gay you see – like you say bars and couples etc. And also the further into suburbia you go, from my experience I think it’s also less accepted. Oh have you seen the #whereloveisillegal stuff on Instagram? Such an interesting page but also very sad. Anyway. I like your blog! 🙂

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    1. Hey Stace! Yeah it’s almost a shock going more into central and seeing things ‘gay up’. I hadn’t actually heard about that page, I’ve had a quick look and it looks very interesting… I think you’ve inspired one of my next posts 🙂 thanks!

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  2. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing
    this blog. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site
    now 😉

    Like

  3. I know Pinner, Matt. I lived in Harrow once. Also Wimbledon, Bexley, Clapham, and Wandsworth. I am originally from ‘inner city’ London, Rotherhithe, near Tower Bridge. I moved back there in ’85, when it was done up as ‘London Docklands.’ At the time, it wasn’t the best place for local gays, but that has changed a lot now. Moving around London over the years, I ended up in Camden Town, from 2000-2012. That might well be described as one of the best places in London (even Britain) to be gay, as nobody cares less about what you are, or how you look.

    In 2012, I retired to rural Norfolk, 20 miles from the city of Norwich. Local people tell me that the city has a gay scene, but where I live has no scene of any kind, gay or straight! Eventually, those London suburbs will be consumed by the larger city, and be the same as anywhere else, I’m sure.

    Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. House prices are very low here, but so are salaries. It’s a slower pace of life, and has to be adjusted to. Limited choices of restaurants, venues and clubs, etc. You have to drive everywhere too. In Norwich, it is all available, but that’s just the one place. If you don’t mind peace and quiet, this is definitely the place.
        This is a house for sale, in our local market town, three miles away. You can see how cheap it is, compared to Greater London.
        http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/37931482?search_identifier=dc4f20456ed113eaba90f6f6851cc6c4#lwZZ0YHHjXrVoroa.97

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      2. The price difference is shocking! I suppose in London you get what you pay for in terms of entertainment and variety, but I’m quite happy at home making dinner!

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      3. If you are happy at home, then this is definitely the place for you. If you can get a decent job, property is unbelievably cheap here, so you get the payback in quality of life. If you ever seriously consider it, let me know, and I will source an amazing house for you! (I should add that I am retired. and not an estate agent. But I would happily do the looking for you, Matt.)

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      4. Live long enough, get divorced twice, and you tend to have to move around a lot. In those days, flats and houses were relatively cheap to buy or rent, and I always had a reliable job. These days, people tend to have to stick with what they can afford, where they can afford it.
        Regards, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

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