Hi y’all! We’re currently in Laurel, Mississippi (very exciting for one of us) at the lovely Rodeway Inn. Since we don’t have a minute to waste on this trip (putting our donor money to good use!) let’s recap the past 3 days:
Day 2 at Mercer was jam-packed with six interviews and portrait sessions. Although the community was small, the LGBT population was incredibly diverse and excited to share their stories. That evening we attended the Common Ground meeting, which was interesting and informative!
Post-meeting, Noah took us to the (best) wing place near campus where we ordered fried okra, pickle chips, delicious wings and $2 beer! And here’s a fun fact that Noah shared: Macon, Georgia is home to more churches per capita than ANYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES.
The next morning we woke up at 6 am (ugh), stumbled to our sweet ride (see above!) and drove two hours to Statesboro, Georgia. There we met with Derrick Martin, a super-impressive freshman at Georgia Southern. You may have heard of Derrick last spring when he made national news after being kicked out of his home for wanting to take his boyfriend to prom. He later founded Project Life Vest, an amazing organization that helps LGBT youth in crisis.
For lunch: Shrimp and grits, fried shrimp and sweet tea, of course. All for a total of $12! What a Southern steal (can you tell we’re from NYC?!). Laurel, suffering from a migraine, finally relinquished control of the car to Diana who did a superb driving job from Statesboro to Auburn, Alabama, a long, long drive.
That evening we attended the Auburn University Gay-Straight Alliance meeting. Being in the heart of the Bible Belt (and an SEC school where football is the second religion), we were happily shocked at the huge turnout – about 60 people. We then had a lovely dinner with the group and the next day we met with four students and a pet lizard. Interviews and portraits to come!
Last night we were back on the open road to Mississippi, stopping in Selma, Alabama for dinner and historical significance! Downtown Selma looks right out of the 1960s (really amazing), reminding us that the road to equality is not an easy one.
After Laurel pulled over at every historical marker, we made our way out of town and onto Mississippi! Thanks to Kandace for housing us in Auburn, Braxton for coordinating, the AGSA for being awesome and all the wonderful people we met at Auburn.