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The county where no one's gay

Franklin County, Mississippi (CNN) -- Statistically speaking, Franklin County should be straighter than John Wayne eating Chick-fil-A. The middle-of-nowhere rectangle in southwest Mississippi -- known for its pine forests, hog hunting and an infamous hate crime -- is home to exactly zero same-sex couples, according to an analysis of census data.

In other words: It's a place where gays don't exist.

At least not on paper.

Before I visited Franklin County, I figured there must be gay people living in Straight County USA. But I didn't expect anyone to be open about it -- and with good reason. As part of this op-ed project, I recently ranked the Hospitality State as one of the least hospitable for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, based on its lack of legal protections. In addition to allowing gays and lesbians to be fired because of who they are, Mississippi is also gracious enough to let landlords evict gay residents.

Those are great incentives for a gay person to become invisible. And being invisible, of course, could mean avoiding census workers.

I drove to this place of rolling hills and misty valleys with a few questions on my mind: Can there really be such a thing as an all-straight county? If so, what is it like to be someone who never has met a gay person? Do you just watch "Glee" and figure it out?

If there are gay people in Franklin County, what keeps them hidden?

I spent a few days searching for answers before I realized I was making the wrong assumptions: It's not that gay people here (or anywhere really) want to be in the closet, necessarily. It's the rest of the world that pushes them in and shuts the door.

(much more at the link)

by Anonymousreply 1403/26/2013

News flash: All gay people are not in same-sex couples.

by Anonymousreply 103/24/2013

On Datalounge, many will blame these gays of Franklin County for staying there when they could be living in WeHo.

On the other hand, most straight people will be surprised because they absolutely don't believe gays are everywhere.

by Anonymousreply 203/24/2013

Thanks for posting that, OP. Very interesting.

by Anonymousreply 303/24/2013

Monday morning bump

by Anonymousreply 403/25/2013

Duh, r1.

by Anonymousreply 503/25/2013

Liked the article a lot but still blows my mind that any gay person would want to stay in such a backwards place, but happy to see people making a difference in those smalltowns.

by Anonymousreply 603/25/2013

From the article...

[quote]Meadville, the county seat, boasts a restaurant called The Feed Mill, which specializes in feeding bread pudding to people, not animals.

By DL standards, a dyke bar.

by Anonymousreply 703/25/2013

Statistically, yes there are. Probably about 1-in-20 in a place like that. But horribly closeted, self-loathing and afraid.

by Anonymousreply 803/25/2013

Perhaps that legislator in Mississippi who killed herself yesterday passed through Franklin County on the way to her paramour's home?

She could've stopped at The Feed Mill and engorged on bread pudding.


by Anonymousreply 903/25/2013

I am most amazed by the 28-year-old with the 43-year-old mom. Good god.

by Anonymousreply 1003/25/2013

Wrong R7. By DL standards, The Feed Mill would be akin to Hometown Buffet, The Ponderosa, or Golden Corral.

by Anonymousreply 1103/25/2013


by Anonymousreply 1203/25/2013

Me too R10. Most girls her age from ole Miss have popped out two or three by then...

by Anonymousreply 1303/25/2013

Not everyone has the resources to move to the big city. Not everyone has the desire to live in a big city.

by Anonymousreply 1403/26/2013
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