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

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.

GLAAD postpones Southern Stories Summer Tour of Florida to focus on Orlando | June 21, 2016

Out of respect for the tragedy and in order to keep our resources focused on supporting victims, survivors, families and the organizations supporting them, GLAAD is postponing our previously scheduled Southern Stories Summer Tour of Florida.

Mississippi's anti-LGBT law #HB1523 challenged in court | June 20, 2016

Campaign for Southern Equality

3 services helping victims and survivors in Orlando | June 17, 2016

In response to the recent tragedy in Orlando, new and existing services have emerged in an effort to help victims, survivors, and their families who have been directly impacted by the mass shooting.

VIDEO: 2012 gun violence survivor Kristene Chapa speaks at #WeAreOrlando vigil | June 15, 2016

"Having a gun pointed at you is an awful experience. Praying you will make it. Fearing you will not see your loved ones again. Knowing this is it, you are going to die."

#SayTheirNames #WeAreOrlando | June 14, 2016

It’s more important than ever that we share their names, each of which has a lifetime of stories behind it.

Find a vigil near you to honor victims and families in #Orlando | June 12, 2016

In the face of unprecedented loss, many are gathering in vigil, uniting together in the spirit of community, resiliency, and honor for those most affected by the large-scale losses of the mass shooting.

GLAAD's Southern Stories Summer Tour will kick off in Florida on June 27 | June 8, 2016

Today, GLAAD announced its second Southern Stories Summer Tour, a summer-long campaign aimed at accelerating LGBT acceptance across the U.S. South. We invite you to get on board.

GLAAD partners with MTV to launch Elect This | June 2, 2016

MTV launched Elect This, a campaign to help its audience connect with the issues that matter to them in an election season dominated by personalities over policy, and scandal over substance.

I dreamed a dream: Finding my LGBT family thicker than blood | June 1, 2016

"The same father who encouraged my dreams of being a New Yorker publicly denounced me to his church the same week I came out of the closet."

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