Want to Help the Southern LGBTQ Community? Move Here
by Michael Lambert
December 12, 2017
Definitely the noise. That’s my usual response to the question, “What do you miss about New York?” It’s not the response most people expect—especially in Mississippi.
I left New York a year ago. First, I came back to Alabama. Then, I moved on to Oxford, Mississippi, where I started law school. I had spent my whole life in the South, and like most queer Southerners, dreamed about “getting away” to New York or Los Angeles or Philadelphia or Chicago. So my friends were puzzled when I decided I would be moving back South.
If my move confused my friends, then it confounded the people I found when I returned. Why would I give up New York for here? You know HB 1523 is law now, right? You heard Roy Moore is running for senator?
You should have stayed where you were.
I had a lot of reasons for coming home, and staying home. Most of them were personal; however, New York had started to wear on me—specifically, queer New York. Whenever a discussion came up about LGBT rights and culture in the South, the same criticisms would come out. Oh, everyone down there is ignorant. They’re prejudiced. They can’t think for themselves. It’s not safe.
Like most people, Southerners hate being talked down to—and that includes progressive Southerners. Every time an LGBT issue comes up, the criticism of Southerners overtakes the many efforts and yes, even successes, of progressives in the South.