Southern Stories

Building on-the-ground capacity and amplifying the stories of LGBTQ people and their allies in the U.S. South.

Recent news from Southern Stories

Debra Messing calls LGBTQ and ally voters to urge them to cast ballots in Virginia | October 27, 2021

GLAAD along with Equality Virginia Advocates, the leading LGBTQ advocacy organization in Virginia, today announce urgent new efforts to get LGBTQ voters to the polls in the final days before Election Day, as Virginia chooses its next governor.

GLAAD Urges Texas Governor Greg Abbott to Veto Latest Attack on Transgender Kids  | October 18, 2021

 

On Sunday, after months of debating and public testimony across four arduous legislative sessions, Texas lawmakers passed a law that shuts transgender youth out of school sports. HB 25, which now goes to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk for his signature, limits schoolchildren from kindergarten through 12th Grade to participating in sports according to the sex on their birth certificates, effectively banning trans youth from athletics. 

Meet the Transgender Activist Fighting HIV in the U.S. South Head On | August 9, 2021

Under Tatiana Williams’ leadership, the Transinclusive Group was awarded for exceptional service and earned a coveted grant from Gilead Sciences’ COMPASS Initiative, a program focused on ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. South.

Guía Para los Medios: Cómo Hablar Sobre el Tiroteo en Pulse | June 2, 2021

El tiroteo masivo ocurrido en la discoteca Pulse el 12 de junio de 2016, en Orlando, Florida, le arrebató la vida a 49 personas y dejó 53 heridos. No sólo fue unos de los ataques con mayor número de muertos en la historia de los Estados Unidos, sino también es el incidente más violento y fatal en contra de la comunidad LGBTQ en la nación.

SayTheirNames

LGBTQ voters helped tip the 2020 election, and we can do it again in Georgia | January 4, 2021

The year 2020, with its challenges, has demonstrated that the LGBTQ community is vibrant, diverse and engaged. And we vote. The LGBTQ community tipped the 2020 election, and the LGBTQ community of Georgia has the power to do it again in 2021.

Who Inspires You to Vote? ¿Quién te inspira a votar? | October 29, 2020

We recently asked members of our amazing Latinx LGBTQ community to share who would be in their hearts and on their minds as they voted. This is what they told us. A big gracias & thank you to everyone who participated!

Tennessee should follow New Jersey's lead, secure parental rights for LGBTQ couples | January 21, 2020 On January 16, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Bill S-3528 into law, a bill that helps establish a process to ensure both members of an LGBTQ couple will be recognized as parents of a child brought into their family by adoption or other forms of assisted reproduction.

What it's like dating while bisexual on a historically conservative campus | September 20, 2019

Our relationship guaranteed queer visibility but also increased our fear of experiencing open homophobia.

GLAAD calls on Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to veto anti-LGBTQ Senate Bill 1140 | May 3, 2018

SB 1140 would allow adoption and foster care agencies to turn away LGBTQ couples and deny kids good homes.

Amid nationwide rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation on the state level, GLAAD and Equality Florida release media guide | January 10, 2018

The guide contains story leads, a glossary of terms and definitions frequently used in reporting, terms to avoid, and common pitfalls – useful for the convening of the Florida State Legislature on January 9. It also includes a general timeline outlining Florida’s history on LGBTQ issues from 1972 to today

"Closing the gap to full acceptance of LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ people, but also their allies -- everyday Americans who feels strongly and take an active role to make sure that their LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ Americans, beneath legal and policy progress lies a layer of uneasiness and discomfort. While the public is increasingly embracing LGBTQ civil rights and equal protection under the law, many are still uncomfortable with having LGBTQ people in their families and the communities where they live. Within these numbers we find that Southerners feel significantly more discomfort about their LGBTQ family, friends, and neighbors than is found in other regions of the country.

 

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

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

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

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