Several years ago I met a guy out and we spent a few weeks catching up. He’d just moved back to Sydney after working as a Jackeroo (farm hand) out in the Australian bush at some of the enormous farming properties out there. Not long after he decided that the city wasn’t for him and moved back out to the bush. My impression was that he was struggling with his sexuality and trying to reconcile being a bit of a cowboy and rugged Aussie bloke with his attraction to men. He’s certainly not alone in that experience. Not too long ago I became friends with him on facebook and talking to him again I thought he might be an interesting interview subject. Like most country guys, he’s a man of few words, so the questions are longer than some of the responses.

When we met (about 7 years ago) you had just come back to Sydney after spending a few years working in the outback. Would it be fair to say that you were starting to explore your sexuality and weren’t that comfortable with it?
Yes the reason for moving to Sydney was to “be gay”.

When you were here you were mixing with the party boys and A-gays. How did that feel after roughing it in the outback for a few years?
Haha party boys and A-gays. I just had fun and met people they were all fun to be around, not what I was used too. but I think I idenify better with the bogans. (Bogans are what we call rednecks or trailer trash here)

After a while in Sydney you went back out to the bush. Do you consider yourself more of a country boy?
Bush over city anyday
When you went back to the country, you told me you were sleeping with girls again because there were no gay men out there. Was that an easy decision for you or would you have preferred to find a guy?
It felt like the norm and I wasnt out so gays werent an option.
You were 22 at the time we met and you were adamant that you would never tell your family about your sexuality. Is that still the case?
I’m still not out , but one day I hope to tell them when I’m more secure with myself.
You’ve now got/had a boyfriend and been in two of the Sydney Mardi Gras parades. I’m guessing you are pretty comfortable with your sexuality these days?
I have had a boyfriend and done the mardi gras 3 times now, I guess in Sydney you can do anything you want, I am getting more comfortable with myself slowly.

Do you think that acceptance of gay men is growing out in the country where men have traditionally felt very isolated and alone?
In some areas yes and it depends on the individual too.
Have social networking sites like facebook and gay chat/hookup sites like manhunt helped men in remote areas to communicate to your knowledge?
More so city guys getting in contact with country guys, I find it all pretty seedy.

Are you open about your sexuality in the country these days or do you still keep it fairly quiet?
I keep it quiet so not to offend people and it doesn’t define who I am.

How have the country people reacted when they’ve found out they’ve got a gay farmer on their hands?
If someone finds out they are usally ok with it.

What would you say to any country guys out there reading this?
I’m the worst person to give advice – so nothing.