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March 19th, 2013
03:06 PM ET

Voices from the Southern closet

By Tommy Andres, CNN

Editor's Note: On March 26th and 27th, the US Supreme Court will hear two key cases regarding same-sex marriage. Every Monday and Tuesday in March, CNN Radio will feature stories about issues related to same-sex marriage.  

Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - So far nine states have legalized same sex marriages, none of them in the South. As part of our same sex marriage series we reached out to our audience to find out what it's like to be gay or lesbian in the South.

What we discovered was surprising.

The gays and lesbians who spoke to us all love living in the South despite its somewhat hostile climate towards them.

Many of them agree with the sentiment of Brandon, a 25-year-old gay man from Boone, North Carolina, who told CNN he prefers life in a small town rather than moving to a bigger city that may be more accepting of gays and lesbians:

[2:23] "The city isn't for everyone. There are plenty of gay guys who still live in the South because it's home to them, it's what they're familiar with. They fit in better there as the construction worker, the truck driver, the farmer, whatever. We're not all going to be photographers, artists, models, city dwelling...sophisticates."

All this week you can hear more of these stories on CNN Radio News Day, posting each day by 4:30 Eastern.

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Maizy

    It's so cute the way the bigots still think their opinions matter and that they sound so important.

    March 20, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lucas

    my partner and I moved from Mississippi to Western New York......We couldn't be happier....no more looks from being a mixed race gay couple when shopping for food or fun. No more questions about our life together as if we were from a different plant. We found Western New York to have the same type of living as Jackson, MS without the hate. We just feel Free for the first time in over 35 years of living.....I never plan to step on MS soil again.....I have informed my family not even for funeral or wedding.....never will I come home. It is sad to feel that way but it is just a hate filled negative place that I'm not going to put myself through. We have brough our country cooking and nice manners to New York.....and we feel loved as a couple for the first time.....it is also different in the gay lifestyle here....no more black gay club vs. white gay club or black gay events vs. white gay event.....If we go out it is a mixed night of fun.....even the gay color lines have left our life and that feel great as well.

    March 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. GeoffTolbee

    I live in the South and am a gay male. I've never had a problem. You get the occasional person who makes a wise crack but other than that, not an issue. What should be stated is that in the Bible Belt, these things just aren't openly discussed in front of mixed company. I wouldn't feel comfortable wearing a pink triangle t-shirt out in public in the South but I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that in any case, that's just not me. It's sort of a don't ask, don't tell attitude unless you're in one of the bigger cities.

    March 20, 2013 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Raj

    There are contruction, farming, truck driving jobs in north too!

    March 20, 2013 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. Raj

    I'm an immigrant to this country and I've noticed that people in northern states in general and north eastern states in particular are more open to all kinds of diveristy – be in race, skin color or sexual preference.

    March 20, 2013 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. MakeIt EAsy

    Maybe they should find a story about a minority lesbian?
    Make it easier....

    March 20, 2013 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. denhunter

    Is every one at CNN homosexual, black or both? Is there no greater story to be covered every third day than a rant about some homo's dating problems. Usuallly it's a black gay guy complaining about whitey.

    March 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • itsmychoice

      fDo you eel like you're losing your grip on this country? Would you like things to be more like they were back in the 50's and before?

      March 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • =forall

      ummmmm read the editor's not at the top of the page...."Editor's Note: On March 26th and 27th, the US Supreme Court will hear two key cases regarding same-sex marriage. Every Monday and Tuesday in March, CNN Radio will feature stories about issues related to same-sex marriage." What sort of coverage would you like to see from main stream America? I'm sorry you're forced to read the articles here, does your computer incapable of going to fox news?

      March 20, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • =forall

      ummmmm read the editor's note at the top of the page...."Editor's Note: On March 26th and 27th, the US Supreme Court will hear two key cases regarding same-sex marriage. Every Monday and Tuesday in March, CNN Radio will feature stories about issues related to same-sex marriage." What sort of coverage would you like to see from main stream America? I'm sorry you're forced to read the articles here, is your computer incapable of going to fox news?

      March 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mwhyt

    Maybe some day America can become a home for all people with goodness in their heart. Cherish love, in all its forms.

    March 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. badhab1t

    Racist much?

    March 21, 2013 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |