GLAAD's Southern Stories Summer Tour will kick off in Florida on June 27

Today, GLAAD announced its second Southern Stories Summer Tour, a summer-long campaign aimed at accelerating LGBT acceptance across the U.S. South. The 2016 tour, supported by national, state and local partners, will kick off in Jacksonville, FL, on June 27 and include stops across Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama, before ending with a week-long trip across Texas. 

"We know that Americans' attitudes and behavior on LGBT equality are not just influenced by what they see and hear, but also who they know. That's why our Southern Stories initiative is so important. By telling the stories of LGBT individuals and their allies in the South, hearts and minds are changed," said Zeke Stokes, GLAAD Vice President of Programs.

The 2015 Southern Stories Tour helped to create connections and amplify the voices of LGBT Southerners. This year, GLAAD elevates the tour from a single week in June to three weeks, spread across the full summer. To view a recap of the 2015 tour, click here

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 had been 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.

In 2016, a follow-up GLAAD-commissioned Harris Poll found that Southerners are slightly more unconcerned or unaware of important issues facing the LGBT community than the rest of the country.

Through meeting with community leaders and advocates, hosting public events by and for LGBT community members, and collecting and telling stories of LGBT lives in the South, GLAAD continues to accelerate acceptance in these communities not only on the tour, but year round. 

We hope you will get on board with the GLAAD 2016 Southern Stories Summer Tour. For more information, check out glaad.org/summertour.

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

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