Closeted gays go to fringe areas, such as public parks, to pick up sexual partners. I am sure that Thomas McKnight had to hide his sexual identity around his UNCW colleagues.
Instead of meeting partners in gay bars (there are at least three in town), or other gay venues--a local church, advertised gay social gatherings, etc.--these closeted individuals seek anonymity in an anonymous setting.
Being gay still carries such a stigma that single men who want to appear straight and married men (married for apperance's sake) seek sexual gratification in public areas that are not specifically designated as "gay."
They fear the exposure and outing that a gay bar or other venue would reveal. Sad, but true.
As for public parks, gays may meet a partner there and drive to other locations for sex. The park is rarely used for this purpose.
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