I am a 21 year old, queer female and decided to spend my summer working in a rural area (I am originally from a large city with a strong gay community). At the beginning of the summer, I decided that I wasn't going to tell anyone at my work that I am gay because the town is small, conservative, and religious. I thought it was going to be ok for a few weeks, but I became agitated when I heard people around me use the word "faggot" and tell homophobic jokes. I thought I was fairly comfortable with my sexual orientation (I am out to my friends at college, but not my parents), but here I feel isolated and wrong all the time. It's like I've reverted back to the state I was in when I first realized that I was queer some years ago, like I'm shoving myself back into the closet. I've started questioning my sexuality again and wondering if being gay is really worth such pain and shame. I'm in culture shock in middle America and not sure what to do.