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

NBA says no to discrimination, moves 2017 All-Star game from North Carolina | July 21, 2016

The NBA announced that they are officially moving the 2017 All-Star weekend from Charlotte, North Carolina due to the discriminatory House Bill 2

Ty Herndon set to headline July 30 concert to benefit Orlando | July 18, 2016

Out country star Ty Herndon will join other artists for concert to raise funds for survivors and families of Orlando mass shooting.

GLAAD finishes #SouthernStories tour with LGBTQ-affirming riverside baptism, church service | July 18, 2016

GLAAD finished the Alabama and Mississippi leg of its 2016 Southern Stories Summer Tour with Joshua Generation Metropolitan Community Church (JGMCC) over the weekend. GLAAD’s Director of Programs – U.S. South & Global, Ross Murray, as well Alexandra Bolles, GLAAD’s Senior Programs Strategist – U.S. South & Global, were on the trip.

GLAAD summer tour continues at change-making bakery, events with local advocates | July 15, 2016

GLAAD's Southern Stories Summer Tour continued this week with stops in Alabama and Mississippi to meet with local LGBT leaders and accelerate acceptance in the US South. 

GLAAD's Southern Stories Summer Tour continues in Alabama and Mississippi | July 13, 2016

GLAAD continues its Southern Stories Summer Tour this week in Alabama and Mississippi.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.

The trip begins in Birmingham, AL where GLAAD will be meeting and interviewing with several local leaders.

'Hands' tops iTunes charts in Argentina, Brazil; Orlando tribute a hit in 39 countries | July 11, 2016

Less than a week into its release, 'Hands' - the Orlando tribute single released by GLAAD and Interscope Records - has already landed atop the Argentina and Brazil iTunes charts and has made its way onto the charts in another 37 countries around the globe, according to figures available at and

#BlackLivesMatter advocate DeRay Mckesson arrested during Baton Rouge protest, released | July 10, 2016

"McKesson, who filmed the encounter on Periscope, repeatedly pointed out that they weren’t blocking the street and that there was no sidewalk in the area where they were marching."

Join Equality Florida and take a stand in support of the victims of the Orlando massacre #ForThe49 | July 5, 2016

Equality Florida is showing how important it is to remember the victims and to take a stand for justice and equality for all. The organization recently launched their #ForThe49 campaign, representing the 49 victims of the shooting.

As part of the campaign, Equality Florida is asking participants to take a photo or short video to explain why they are taking a stand #ForThe49. Users across all social platforms have shared their #ForThe49 posts:

GLAAD cohosts panel discussion on LGBT legislation in Jacksonville | June 29, 2016

Currently, there are no legally guaranteed protections for victims of hate crimes based on gender identity or expression in the state of Florida, leaving a large portion of the LGBT community unprotected.

GLAAD partners with Jacksonville Coalition for Equality for day of advocacy | June 28, 2016

The conversations and work being done on the ground in Jacksonville today will help inform and build GLAAD's partnership with local leaders and advocacy organizations to accelerate acceptance across Florida and the U.S. South as a whole.

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