GLAAD Southern Stories

GLAAD Southern Stories

"Closing the gap to full acceptance of LGBT people will not come from legislation or judicial decisions alone, but from a deeper understanding and empathy from Americans themselves. Accelerating acceptance will require the help of not just LGBT people, but also their allies -- everyday Americans who feels strongly and take an active role to make sure that their LGBT friends and family are fully accepted members of society."

- Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO

Why the South?

Why now?

In late 2014, GLAAD commissioned Harris Poll to measure attitudes towards LGBT Americans. What we found is that even though 2015 has been (and is poised to continue to be) an historic year for the rights of LGBT Americans, beneath legal and policy progress lies a layer of uneasiness and discomfort. While the public is increasingly embracing LGBT civil rights and equal protection under the law, many are still uncomfortable with having LGBT people in their families and the communities where they live. Within these numbers we find that Southerners feel significantly more discomfort about their LGBT family, friends, and neighbors than is found in other regions of the country.


Americans' attitudes and behavior on LGBT equality are not just influenced by what they see and hear, but who they know. GLAAD's Southern Stories initiative tells the stories of LGBT people and their allies in the South to create a cultural shift towards LGBT acceptance and understanding in the region.

Southerners continue to report higher levels of discomfort in situations with LGBT people, compared to the general US population.

Complacency with issues facing the LGBT community is just as strong in the South as in the rest of the US. The one exception was that non-LGBT Southerners are more likely to believe that politicians support pro-LGBT policies than the general American population.

Southerners are slightly more unconcerned or unaware of important issues facing the LGBT community than the rest of the country.

Recent news from Southern Stories

Southern advocates change hearts and minds across the region for #SpiritDay | October 20, 2016

People from across Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, and beyond have made known the importance of visibly supporting the youngest members of the LGBT community:

Verdict reached 4 years after deadly attack on TX lesbian teen couple | September 28, 2016

Four years after surviving an execution-style shooting and sexual assault, Kristene Chapa has received a verdict in the trial of her alleged attacker

“I have a complicated relationship with my hometown”: Bisexuals+ share their #SouthernStories for #BiWeek | September 21, 2016

Sofia, a bisexual Latina woman, says of southern Texas, “The culture is beautiful and rich and there’s something so comforting about seeing the big ol’ 10 gallon hats, with the big ol’ belt buckles, and the sound of music playing…At the same time, I wish it was a little bit different. I wish that we could come here [and] not be afraid for our safety.”

North Carolina loses Atlantic Coast Conference championships because of HB2 | September 14, 2016

Following a petition, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced that it will move out of North Carolina in response to the discriminatory law, HB2.

Orlando shooting inspires Houston photographer to create 'Pride Portraits' | September 14, 2016

In the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando this past June, photographer Eric Schell "was at a loss for words, feelings and an understanding as to why we as a community are sometimes treated like non-humans." In response, Schell created a project titled "P.R.I.D.E. Portraits: Photographs Representing Individuals Deserving Equality".

GLAAD wraps up Texas #SouthernStories tour with Aquí Estamos mini-documentary sneak peek | August 15, 2016

GLAAD wrapped up the Southern Stories Summer Tour of Texas with a sneak peek clip of GLAAD's upcoming mini-documentary "GLAAD Presents: State of Change – Texas" at the Aquí Estamos Conference in McAllen, Texas

LGBTQ, immigrant youth, allies show GLAAD their acceptance in Texas | August 13, 2016

GLAAD hosted a sneak peek preview and round table discussion of GLAAD's upcoming mini-documentary, "GLAAD Presents: State of Change – Texas" for local LGBT youth at the Dream Home in Edinburg, Texas, a home that provides emergency housing for dacamented students who are homeless or have been abused by their families. This is the latest stop on the Southern Stories Summer Tour of Texas.

Houstonians get a sneak peek of upcoming Texas mini-documentary | August 10, 2016

GLAAD hosted a sneak peek clip of GLAAD's upcoming mini-documentary "State of Change – Texas" at the Montrose Center in Houston Texas as the latest stop on the Southern Stories Summer Tour of Texas.Amanda Turner is a leader of the Beaumont PFlag chapter. She is on the planning committee for the southern comfort transgender conference. 

During #SouthernStories tour of Texas GLAAD releases latest guidebook for reporting on Texas LGBT community | August 9, 2016

Today, GLAAD released the latest in the Southern Stories media resource guides, "Southern Stories: A Guide for Reporting on LGBT people in Texas" as a part of its Southern Stories series. This guidebook will serve as a resource for journalists and media outlets reporting on the LGBT community and surrounding issues in the state of Texas.

Ride along (virtually) as GLAAD takes the Southern Stories Summer Tour to Texas | August 2, 2016

GLAAD continues its Southern Stories Summer Tour next week in Texas. Throughout the trip, GLAAD will be facilitating conversations with local advocacy leaders about accelerating acceptance and amplifying the voices of LGBT people in the South. We will share resources, and listen to the stories of everyday LGBT Texans

Share Your Southern Story