Rural Imperial County has a population of more than 182,000 people. That may sound like a lot — until you realize the sleepy coastal town of Oceanside boasts 176,000 residents.

Living in a small, rural community can be a wonderful experience. There is a sense of freedom and reconnection to nature, a slower pace of life and respite from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan living. It allows for the creation of strong, close-knit communities. But there are also some drawbacks. Cities are spread apart, public transportation can be sparse and vulnerable communities — especially LGBTQ residents — can feel nearly invisible due to lack of services that are in abundance in other larger counties.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.