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

Election 2022: Georgia U.S. Senate Runoff Candidates on the Record | November 30, 2022

The runoff election for the U.S. Senate is now underway in Georgia. Early in-person voting is happening now, and Election Day is December 6, 2022. 

LGBTQ voters in Georgia provided the winning margin for pro-equality candidates in the 2020 election. The runoff election comes as the LGBTQ community is reeling from the deadly mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. GLAAD is releasing both the LGBTQ record and gun safety records for candidates incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (above, left) and challenger Herschel Walker (above, right). 

Election 2022: Georgia's Candidates on the Record on LGBTQ Issues | October 10, 2022

The deadline to register to vote in Georgia is October 11, and early voting begins October 17. The candidates for U.S. Senate will appear at their first and only debate on Friday, October 14, in Savannah. 

GLAAD and Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization, are releasing the LGBTQ and equality records of candidates in key races at the federal and state level.

Vote with pride in FLORIDA: The issues, the candidates, and the deadlines for early voting and mail-in voting | October 10, 2022

GLAAD is working to ensure all LGBTQ voters and their allies are informed about upcoming midterm elections and encouraged to go vote. To do that, we'll highlight races in some key states. The second state to be featured in this election series is Florida. Florida’s voter registration deadline is tomorrow, October 11th! Even if you aren't from Florida, you should double check your voter registration status and make a plan to vote! Tell friends and family to do the same. Visit www.glaad.org/vote to check your status.

Beto O'Rourke’s Mother’s Day with the Briggles | May 16, 2022

Mother’s Day dinner this year was extra special for one North Texas family, the Briggles, when they hosted Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke. 

On Late Night with Seth Meyers, the Texas gubernatorial candidate talked about cooking the meal (a home recipe for burgers, broccoli, and potatoes), playing some music, and hanging out with the family who’ve become emblematic of the state-sponsored attacks on some Texas families.

Family Is Everything in New Nationwide PSA Supporting Transgender Youth | April 6, 2022

 

Amber Briggle wants to introduce you to a family with a transgender kid—her family. The Texas mom speaks about her family, including her transgender teenaged son, Max, in GLAAD's new PSA videos, which got a sneak preview showing at the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles Saturday.

GOP Governors Reject Anti-LGBTQ Legislation, Noting Overreach and Costly Lawsuits | March 28, 2022

Govenors in three states are considering whether to sign discriminatory legislation that bans transgender youth from school sports: Arizona, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. Lawmakers in Indiana will meet to vote on overriding their governor’s veto. A bill to restrict access to gender-affirming care passed Arizona’s legislature and goes to Gov. Doug Ducey. Every major medical association supports such care as safe and lifesaving, and transgender youth access to school sports in their authentic gender.

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

"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.