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Good Gay News: Southern U.S. Edition

Good Gay News: Southern U.S. Edition

Hello, welcome back to another installment of Good Gay News, where today we discuss the good news coming from the southern US. When you hear the southern US, you automatically think of deep-red and bible-thumping; sadly, a lot of this is true of the southern states. It’s nice to know that good news is possible in these states. Their governments may not like the LGBTQ+ community, but we are proving that we will continue to exist whether they like it or not. We have some good news from Florida, Tennessee, and Texas in today’s post. All three states on this list have continuously targeted the community and passed laws restricting gender-affirming care, trying to ban trans people from sports, and restricting drag performances. While I am only focusing on the good news from these states, it is essential to recognize the laws and restrictions these states are trying to pass against the community. Now that we’ve covered this let’s move on to the good news. 

Florida is known for alligators, Disney, and Ron Desantis, and all of them plague this hot state in different ways. To give a brief rundown of Florida, their governor, Ron Desantis is not an ally of the community, and he passed some laws against the community. One of the most significant laws is “Don’t Say Gay,” a bill passed to ban talking about the LGBTQ+ Community to students in K-12, and he is even trying to expand it into colleges and universities. Knowing this, you may wonder what good news is coming out of Florida, and I am here to tell you. On September 5,  Lake Worth Beach, FL, declared itself a sanctuary city for LGBTQ+ people in Florida. They pledge to be a welcoming sanctuary city for LGBTQ+ people and their families to live in peace and comfort. The move from the city has made Tallahassee also look into taking some of the same measures as Lake Worth Beach. When the city declared itself as a sanctuary city the executive producer of Compass LGBTQ+ Community Centre, Juliette Seaver, was asked if it was a victory for the community and she said, “Absolutely,” according to PinkNews. This is the right move for the city since they’ve experienced hate crimes towards the community in the past, and it will help create a safe space in the otherwise homophobic state. Members of the LGBTQ+ community have fled to safer states because of the laws signed by Governor Ron Desantis. Now, moving on to Florida’s northern neighbor, Tennessee. 

Tennessee is known for Dollywood, Nashville, and becoming the first state to put restrictions on drag shows. I hope you understand when I say drag shows, I mean shows done by drag queens, not cars. I know I shouldn’t have to make this distinction, but I can see where it can get confusing; both types of shows are entertaining, just one is “shunned.” On September 15, Tennessee elected its first trans woman into a city council position. Olivia Hill was a candidate for city council in Nashville, and they voted her into the position despite what Republican legislators have been saying about trans people. They saw she was more than qualified for the job and voted her in. She is also the first LGBTQ+ person to get elected during a county-wide race and the first transgender person to run for office in the entire state. Hills said, “My expertise is fixing things, and while my focus is repairing Nashville’s outdated infrastructure, I also want to ensure that our city is represented with true diversity in a state where the ruling party thinks I should head to the closet.” She also hopes to show people who dislike her and the community that they have more to offer. They shouldn’t focus on tearing the community down. Now, onto Texas, the Lone Star state is known for a governor who has shown he doesn’t care about his civilians.  

Texas is one of the hottest states in the country if you exclude Florida and southern California. On Sunday, September 17, the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, TX, blessed a group of drag queens and advocates known as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. During the ceremony, the church leaders said, “The term’ family values’ has for so long been code language to support misogyny, homophobia, bigotry, and many other ways of hate and exclusion.” The service is shocking, considering the hatred from many conservatives in Texas regarding the LGBTQ+ community and drag shows. Seeing this news from a church is funny, knowing it’s the place you’d least expect to see embracing and welcoming the community.  

This concludes this week’s installment of Good Gay News. I hope that hearing some positive things from these notoriously hateful states makes you smile. Please remember you are loved, cherished, and appreciated by many people. Ignore the negative things people say about you and the community; know things will improve.  

 

 

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About the Contributor
Sky Cale
Sky Cale, Staff Reporter
Sky Cale is a senior studying creative writing and minoring in Political Science. She has plans to go get an online master's degree in creative writing. She has aspirations to become an author in the future. She is an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community in and outside of Appalachia. She works in the Turley Center helping students navigate their way through the third floor. Outside of classes, you can find her walking her ESA Mars around the campus, playing the Sims, or writing her books. 
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