Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Gay Life in Southern Delaware
The dog days of summer are here already. Still, life is good here in the southern most county of Delaware, Sussex County. The August issue of Delaware today has an excellent article on the New Delawarean. That's me, a retiree from seeking refuge from the tax happy state of Pennsylvania. My school taxes were so high in Pennsylvania that I could no longer afford to live in that verdant state. In addition to the ever increasing school taxes, there were the other taxes like the state sales tax, country tax, and township tax. The tax burden left me no choice but to move to a tax friendlier state like Delaware. It was either Delaware or South Carolina (where my younger brother lives.) Another factor in my decision to move to Delaware, specifically the Rehoboth Beach area, is that it is a more inclusive community. What does "inclusive community" mean you ask? Gay friendly. I don't have to live in a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" environment down here. In Pennsylvania, my partner and I were accepted as long as we kept a low profile. We don't want to be "accepted." We just want to live like other people. We can do that here in southern Delaware. Ironically, we're not involved in the local gay community at all. We live in a neighborhood which is basically straight. There are three other gay couple in this neighborhood, one male and two females. The organized gay community in the Rehoboth Beach area is generally conceded to be Camp Rehoboth. Unfortunately, they operate more like a private exclusive club than an open "all inclusive" organization. Their main function seems to be fund raising to further perpetuate their survival, much the same as TV evangelical ministers are always raising funds to keep them on TV in order to raise more funds. This isn't knocking Camp Rehoboth or their purported function of "creating a more inclusive environment", but stating the reality of their primary function - raising funds. My partner and I are enjoying a comfortable retirement in Delaware without the benefit of Camp Rehoboth and their "sensistivity training" of local police officers. We're retirees just like any other retirees in our neighborhood, gay and straight. We buy groceries, pay our bills, mow our lawn, and have family issues just like any other family. Now that the dog days of summer are here, we're just trying to stay cool like the straight folks.