Mississippi on LGBTQ+ Rights
I was standing in the line to the canteen on the City of New Orleans train. The news was still fresh: our armed services had lifted their “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Now official policy would allow LGBTQ+ folks to serve their country without lying about who they were. A sailor wearing his white uniform stood two people ahead of me in line. A middle-aged bearded man was between me and the sailor. The bearded man expressed his regret—condolences, really—to the sailor for the country’s change in policy.
“I’m from south Louisiana,” the sailor replied in full Cajun cadence. “All my life, people have taunted and ridiculed me for my accent. Telling me I was ignorant and stupid. If they’ve got my back when it counts, that’s all that matters to me. I’m a red-blooded, Coon-ass American, and I support their right to serve.”
So if you ask this Mississippi on LGBTQ+ rights, I will respond: I’m a rednecked generational Mississippian ridiculed for my home state, and I support the right of LGBTQ+ folks to serve, marry, adopt children, access the medical care they decide they need, hold any job they desire, publish any book they desire, buy fucking wedding cakes, act as ordained representatives of the body of Christ, baptize those I love, offer me communion, marry me, and, God willing, say grace over my grave when I finally leave this narrow-minded, love-starved world.
If you disagree with my Mississippi on LGBTQ+ rights, don’t tell me about it.
Sit down with your gay friends and, face-to-face, explain their inferiority to them.