What is the Southern United States Like?

  • tommyboi

    Posts: 64

    Jul 13, 2011 11:06 AM GMT
    I love traveling and so does my bf. We are thinking of traveling to the South of America as its somewhere we have never been and have been enjoying it on programs like True Blood. My question is how homophobic and racist is the south (we are an interacial couple, he is asian). Why are quite affectionate with each other and would rather avoid places where this would get comments/reactions

    Thanks guys
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    Jul 13, 2011 12:45 PM GMT
    You'll find that there is a significant difference between large cities and more rural areas, something that is true of most countries. My sense, as a regular visitor to the South but not a resident, is that you'll be more likely to encounter comments based on the fact that you're a male couple than you will about being a couple from different races. (No guarantees, however. God sprinkles his fools about as he pleases).

    The South is a big place with lots to do and see and a strong sense of its own history and culture. You could have a great time if you want to see places like Charlottesville, VA, or Savannah, Charleston, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans... Those places see many tourists and you'll have no trouble finding gay-run or gay-friendly accommodations.

    If your idea of a great trip is driving down back roads and visiting tiny little towns which feel as if time has passed them by, however, you should be prepared for the idea that some folks may not be so friendly. This is not limited to the South, nor, I suspect, to the US alone.
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    Jul 13, 2011 12:48 PM GMT
    tommyboi saidWhat is the Southern United States Like?
    Think of the bible's description of hell.
    Read "Dante's Inferno."
    Now think of both descriptions as being a beautiful paradise compared to the South.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Jul 13, 2011 12:55 PM GMT
    i observed just as much (if not more!) homophobia and racism in the northeast part of our country (long island, ny, trenton, nj) as i have seen here in the deep south (new orleans, la).



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  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Jul 13, 2011 1:42 PM GMT
    As Kobaljak says, there is the South and then there's THE SOUTH. There are plenty of progressive pockets where being gay is a non-issue (note: not all large urban areas are by definition progressive), but yeah--head out on some country roads to some small towns and the reception might not be so friendly. Worth a visit is Asheville, NC.
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    Jul 13, 2011 1:47 PM GMT
    You could come to the southernmost point in the US...a.k.a. We love everyone here!
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    Jul 13, 2011 1:51 PM GMT
    rugbyguyfl saidYou could come to the southernmost point in the US...a.k.a. We love everyone here!
    True, both of KW and all of South Florida. icon_wink.gif
  • tommyboi

    Posts: 64

    Jul 13, 2011 1:55 PM GMT
    Well I have been to Florida and Miami before, did like them. Was thinking more the deep south
  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Jul 13, 2011 1:56 PM GMT
    tommyboi saidWell I have been to Florida and Miami before, did like them. Was thinking more the deep south


    Yeah, Florida is definitely not indicative of the true south...icon_wink.gif
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Jul 13, 2011 1:56 PM GMT
    tommyboi saidWell I have been to Florida and Miami before, did like them. Was thinking more the deep south



    miami is NOT a good example of the south (or florida)...well, not anymore, anyway.


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    Jul 13, 2011 2:00 PM GMT
    Ooops I meant to add Key West when describing the southernmost point. It's an usual place to visit and especially to live but it does make life interesting. ;-)
  • hawkeye7

    Posts: 565

    Jul 13, 2011 2:04 PM GMT
    Atlanta is very gay and very progressive, stay in midtown.
    some other southern cities are also really cool, I agree that you will be very comfortable in Ashville, NC and Nashville ,TN.
    Most traditional southerners might have a problem with you but their manners will probably keep their motuh shut, the rual redneck can be another problem.
    be yourselves but be smart

    If you find yourself in a situation, stand your ground
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    Jul 13, 2011 2:04 PM GMT
    Are you guys kidding me you can't get more south than Florida both from a historical perspective and from a cultural perspective. Ever hear of the History of a little town called "Rosewood" in Florida and how it was burned to the ground.

    Grant it didn't have social upheavals like, the middle southern States but it most def. A part of the South.

    I would suggest that you Google Gay Friendly Cities in the South. New Orleans and Atlanta, Charlotte would be at the top of the list.
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    Jul 13, 2011 2:05 PM GMT
    I went to school in new Orleans and it is very gay friendly. That being said the cajun south may b different than the other areas.

    Also don't mistake curiosity for racism. When driving thru Alabama I stopped at a gas station and the clerk goes "what r u?" I assumed he meant my race, but I did not take offense, I believe it was due more to the fact that he had never seen anyone not black, white, or Latino. So anyway I explain that I'm half white and half Indian. Then the clerk told me he was 1/16 Cherokee lol. I was cracking up and like no Indian from India not native American.

    There's racists and bigots everywhere, I believe northern racism is almost worse because its behind closed doors, spoken under breathe and is hidden. At least with overt racism u know who to avoid and who hates u.
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    Jul 13, 2011 2:05 PM GMT
    TommyBoi, I assume you have a British accent.

    Especially in smaller towns in The South, get used to a very slow experience EVERY time you try to order food or otherwise engage with the locals.

    I had a boyfriend from Reading, England who travelled with me all around Georgia and South Carolina.

    Every time he spoke, the local would respond with "SAY THAT AGAIN, HONEY, I JUST LOVE THE WAY Y'ALL TALK,"

    As he was a complete attention whore, he loved it here.

    And it should tell you something that he dumped me for a fellow from Mississippi. Yes, he loved The South.

    I also don't think your boyfriend of Asian background would notice any racism whatsoever. NOR FOR THAT MATTER, if he were African, would he observe racism here. Racism exists here and very strongly but not in a way a traveller would experience.

    HOMOPHOBIA, OTOH, is real enough and I suggest you not display romance in public........except in larger cities. My area of Atlanta, Georgia is Beyond GAY! But in smaller towns, NO ONE even considers that two guys travelling together would be romantic partners.

    Hmmmm, but Southern small town gay acceptance is an odd thing.....like so much else of Southerness. My previous business dealt with gift stores in small towns around the South. Many of the shops were owned and run by Gay Couples and were thriving AND most of these guys or lesbians made no effort to hide their gayness.

    If I sound incoherent in my advice, it's because explaining The South necessarily involves a great deal of contradiction.

    Just enjoy the Free Refills of your Sweet Iced Tea!
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    Jul 13, 2011 2:06 PM GMT
    rugbyguyfl saidYou could come to the southernmost point in the US...a.k.a. We love everyone here!

    HOW COME we didn't hear from you this past weekend, when we were in Key West, as I posted here? As we do about every 2 months and also post here. We met a lovely RJer this visit, but not you.

    Can I e-mail you directly about our next stay? We've had reservations for months, Nov 19-22 at New Orleans House, Room 24 which we always take. We may also be down late August or September, but this time at Cypress House I think, since a female friend may be with us, and that gay-owned place is mixed.

    And I agree with you -- Key West is one of the most gay-friendly places on Earth. We look forward to meeting you, and introducing you to all our friends down there, though you may already know many of them. Let us buy you drinks & dinner. Do you know Michael's? We know the owners and always go there during any visit to KW.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Jul 13, 2011 2:07 PM GMT
    hawkeye7 saidAtlanta is very gay and very progressive...



    i find "hotlanta" to be very "clickish", snobbish and "plastic"....the south's version of Los Angeles.



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  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jul 13, 2011 2:07 PM GMT
    just stick to the bigger cities. if you go to texas, visit austin (and to a lesser degree san antonio.... it's safe, just not as fun). if you go to louisiana, go to new orleans or lafayette or baton rouge, if you go to georgia, go to atlanta or athens.
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    Jul 13, 2011 2:11 PM GMT
    as a resident of hattiesburg, ms, i believe i can speak ex cathedra of the deep south. as has already been stated, slack-jawed curiosity and outright animosity might exist in certain enclaves; however, by and large we are a friendly, engaging, welcoming people. there is a deep vein of christian acceptance among us which encourages a general acceptance of folks and their lives. please note that this doesn't extend to simply other christians but all religions or lack thereof. the vicious adherence to a rigid dogma is held by only a small number and seems just as common in the rest of the usa if my experiences are accurate. as was stated by one of my friends when i lived in portland, in the south one's "tribe" comprises the whole community, whereas in other regions it generally extends to only one's immediate friends and family. this means that we are sincerely interested in one another's lives and well-being. while this seems intrusive to some, it's for the most part a welcoming characteristic. above all, i believe we value eccentricity, history, relationships, and humor. i would encourage you to explore the large cities but leave some time to see the smaller ones, too. certainly if you care to swing through hattiesburg, my partner and i would be happy to host. i believe you'll be quite surprised by the large number of gays you'll encounter. icon_smile.gif
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Jul 13, 2011 2:12 PM GMT
    i've met some extremely attractive, personable, darn sexy gay guys from northern/central mississippi.


    ohhh yehhhhhhh!!




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    Jul 13, 2011 2:21 PM GMT
    hawkeye7 said

    If you find yourself in a situation, stand your ground


    IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A SITUATION......

    in The South of the USA or anywhere else in the world. let me recommend that you quietly remove yourselves from the situation.

    Whether we're talking about dealing with a homophobe; hostile seeming streetperson; dude with a knife at your neck demanding money........

    or WORST CASE, a Gay Republican(they are more prevalent in The South) yakking on for hours about how he really isn't filled with self-loathing...

    I say, just get away as quickly as you can.

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    Jul 13, 2011 2:56 PM GMT
    I find homophobia to be MUCH worse in the northern U.S. in general. Even when I moved to Los Angeles, I was shocked that not a single mixed bar existed. Here in New Orleans I was used to going to primarily mixed bars (gay + straight) and never going to a gay bar. But in L.A. there were only two choices.....gay bars and straight bars. I hit on straight guy here in New Orleans on a regular basis and I've never once had a guy freak out. It's common to see guys and girls walking down the street holding hands. So if you're looking to explore the Deep South, I would definitely head for New Orleans.
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    Jul 13, 2011 2:56 PM GMT
    Hot as fvck.
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    Jul 13, 2011 2:57 PM GMT
    Kobaltjak saidThe South is a big place with lots to do and see and a strong sense of its own history and culture. You could have a great time if you want to see places like Charlottesville, VA, or Savannah, Charleston, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans...


    Yeah..... I would skip Charlottesville....

    Just kidding, it is a good place to visit.
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    Jul 13, 2011 3:28 PM GMT
    tommyboi saidI love traveling and so does my bf. We are thinking of traveling to the South of America as its somewhere we have never been and have been enjoying it on programs like True Blood. My question is how homophobic and racist is the south (we are an interacial couple, he is asian). Why are quite affectionate with each other and would rather avoid places where this would get comments/reactions

    Thanks guys


    Very, very little of the south is like what you see on True Blood. I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed.

    If that atmosphere is what you're looking for, your best bets are Savannah or New Orleans.