Sunday, January 28, 2007

 
I was working on pruning out the blogs that had gone silent or had officially closed and adding some interesting new ones I had found a while ago (post of January 13), when it occurred to me that some time this year I will cease to be a QBB (Queer Boston Blogger)--at least officially. As it happens there are two southern New Hampshire gay bloggers (Chris and Steve) who are members of the QBB in very good standing, so I hope that I'll be able to maintain that part of my identity. But it occurred to me--and not for the first time, either--to wonder just where were the QNHB?

New Hampshire, some wry remarks by one or two friends notwithstanding, is neither the End of the Earth nor The Boonies. There are several big and highly sophisticated institutions of higher education (UNH, Dartmouth, et al) as well as prominent private residential secondary schools (Phillips Exeter Academy), some excellent museums, a regional opera company (Granite State Opera) and symphony orchestras, thriving art associations (The Deerfield Art Association 20 minutes away from where I’ll be living) that foster and exhibit the work of some excellent artists. Portsmouth and Manchester are fine cities with a great deal to offer. There are also some highly respectable and respected medical facilities such as the one I came to know inside out during the week when Fritz was rushed into coronary surgery and his excellently managed recovery.

So let’s review: academia, the fine and performing arts, major health care institutions, urban centers, all present and accounted for and just the places to find gay men and lesbians. Toss into the mix a lot of our close friends, the gay guys who showed up with chainsaws to assist with the clearing of the road to the new house and to help in many other ways, and it all spells a thriving gay population. But where, other than the estimable Steve and Chris on the east coast near Portsmouth, are the gay bloggers?

I've looked. I've checked the link lists of gay New Hampshire sites. I've combed the link lists of gay bloggers late at night when I should have been asleep or doing something for work. I actually found the blog of a gay Vermonter but he didn't link to anybody and his blog was all about a lot of other stuff than gay issues, private or public. I can't believe that there are no gay bloggers in New Hampshire other than Steve and Chris--that's the long and the short of it (I am SO going to get hit when I next see those two).

Does it matter? Well yes, to me. I've been working to set roots in the area from almost as soon as Fritz and I stopped trying to analyze what was happening to us and just accepted that somehow we had become ludicrously lucky (or had been guided by an irresistible force intent on bringing us together, which is another story I'll tell some day if pleaded with sufficiently). It's not as if I haven't tapped into gay life in southern New Hampshire--I have and it’s alive and well, thank you very much. But there is another dimension, the gay blog community that has been a most enjoyable part of my life here in Boston and that I would be very interested in connecting with in my new home--if indeed a gay blog community exists in New Hampshire. I can't believe it doesn't, but I’ve been unable to find it so far.

So, if any of you links to or otherwise knows of any gay bloggers in New Hampshire, I would be delighted to know who they are and have an address. Many thanks.


Comments:
"The long and the short of it." Apparently, I only hit in my sleep. That's pretty funny. We will welcome you to the boonies with open arms.
 
I might add my name to that list. I'm thinking of relocating to Maine or New Hampshire. I mentioned in another posting that most of my family lives in the Granite State, but it came up "anonymous."

I still refuse to believe there's such a thing as a gay community in Southern New Hampshire. Maybe a bunch of granola lesbians or something.
 
Mike--trust me, they're there. I live a significant and very happy part of my life in a town between Exeter and Manchesrter and a lot of it occurs on my husband's property as well as in other locations. I have empirical evidence that they're gay and that they really interact. But the New Hampshirites among them don't blog and I've been unable to find any others who do. Maybe it's just that taciturn northern New England affect.

I knew that "anynomous " comment was from you. We should talk some time about living in New Hampshire.
 
Will,

I wonder how large the gay blogging community is in general. Blogging seems to be much more popular among gays in America than it is on the other side of the Atlantic. Language issues aside, notice the relatively small numbers of UK gay bloggers vs those in the US and Canada.

Perhaps we even tend to overestimate the number of gay Bloggers, even in North America. If you made a composite list of all the gay bloggrolls on all the gay sites you could find, I doubt very seriously that you would come to many more than a couple of thousand, if that. If we then deduct those sites which are essentially porno or skin, and not interested in exchanging ideas, feelings or experiences, I fear we would be left with not more than one thousand, and that's a generous estimate.

That's enough to keep us anglophone gay bloggers quite busy, but demographically, considering what must be the gay population of the US, it's pretty insignificant.

This is, of course, not to discourage you in your quest for gay bloggers in NH. It's a noble enterprise. (And BTW, if you run into any gay bloggers who live in Italy, especially northern Italy, send them my way).
 
Bruce--
You're probably right. However, I am often surprised when I do my web crawls to see who's out there and find that there are "zones" of gay bloggers, even here in the U.S. What I mean by that is that among those who read me and to whom I link, there are are a number of blogs we have in common (Joe.My.God, Towleroad, etc.), but I sometimes find gay blogs with a totally different group of contacts--no overlaps at all, existing in an wholly different circle of men.

Another surprise was to find that I am on the link ists of several South American blogs that are written in either Spanish or Portugese. These blogs rarely if ever connect to any of my group. Fascinating.
 
Queerfilter.com is a useful way to search for gay blogs from various states and countries. Of course, it's not very complete. If you search New Hampshire, absolutely nothing comes up - which is obviously not true with Chris and Steve there, at least.

Hmmm, so that probably doesn't help.

But Bruce's point is well taken. We should not overestimate the impact of social blogs. The number of gay blogs in the country may not be that large - I mean has anyone tried a formal count? Hard to do, I bet.

I dunno - I don't notice and gay rags doing an overview of local bloggers or anything. That could raise local awareness, I guess.

The ones that are usually cited, if at all, are some of the prominent ones like joe.my.god and towleroad... For instance, I'm betting 99.999% of all gay Bostonians have never heard of any of us - or any gay blog at all. But I bet more than half probably do know who Perez Hilton is.
 
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