JumpMan_Josh saidI live in a small, southern, town with a population of around 10k (but feels much smaller).
People still stick to traditional family values, but their is still a lot more acceptance and forward-thinking than you would think.
Still, Southern Baptists are the first to throw stones and discriminate for no reason. Because of this people still hold "traditional family values" and don't want to have an open-mind. On top of that we're surrounded by smaller mountain towns who's population are mostly holiness people (don't believe in shaving, cutting their hair, ect). They are by far the worst kind of people I have ever met (not trying to judge them all as a whole, but the majority I have met anyway).
I lived in your State of Alabama for 2 years. I especially remember 2 things about it.
When I first arrived it was by interstate bus, because my military orders were cut too late for a plane ticket, all the flights into Oxford booked. We pulled into a bus station in Anniston, notorious for one of the uglier episodes in the early 1960s Black civil rights movement 20 years earlier.
A Black porter shuffled up to me, calling me "Massah", his eyes downcast, wanting to carry my bags. I was appalled to be addressed & treated like that. But I was soon to learn that every Black I encountered in Anniston likewise cowered before Whites, and nothing I did could assure them that I wasn't like the local Whites they knew.
The second thing I learned was the inferior position of women, unless they were socially well situated with an Alpha male husband, from whom they derived their prestige. But they seldom had any standing of their own, it was all derived from men.
One time I was driving down the main Anniston thoroughfare, Quintard, when I got behind an open pickup truck. In the front seat were 2 guys, with a large dog between them, a couple of rifles in the gun rack against the back window.
In the open bed behind sat 2 women, huddling against the winter cold and light rain that was falling. That encounter was emblematic of Alabama culture, of the low status of women to men, where even dogs outranked women. And that wasn't the only example that proved the case to me.
Yeah, I know where you live, and what it means. Your option is to move away, because I don't see anything changing during the time when you'll still be able to enjoy it yourself.