The Seven States of Sodom

As we reported yesterday, Nancy Robertson of Arden, North Carolina wrote a letter to the editor of the Asheville Citizen Times, which said, in part:

“I am a transplant from Jackson, Miss., who is astounded by how many homosexuals have “infested” this beautiful city. I just don’t know what the general population should do. Perhaps the solution would be to set aside a specific state of the union for them to inhabit – perhaps we should set up a new name for Connecticut and call it “ Sodom” or “Gomorrah.”

Sorry, Nancy, but we’re not moving to Connecticut, New York’s armpit, anytime soon. But we dig your proposal that the gays go off and form their own separate homeland and have come up with some suggestions about which states we should consider conquering with our merciless drag queen hordes.

Rhode Island
Pros: Little Rhodey has a lot going for it. It’s small and thus easily defensible. David N. Cicilline, the mayor of Providence, is openly gay and will probably run for Governor next year. Lots of opportunities for guys who like to dress like sailors.

Cons: Sure, getting used to coffee milk and Dell’s Frozen lemonade would take some getting used to, but imagine all the drag queens running around Newport’s Breakers Mansion doing their best imitation of Glenn Close as doomed insulin-loving heiress Sonny Von Bulow in the classic, Reversal of Fortune.

Pros: Baltimore is the hometown of John Waters, who we could elect as our king.

Cons: Based on Waters’ Desperate Living, his style of ruling would entail having us all live in shacks, sit on each others faces and refer to Waters as “The Queen of Filth.” It’s true that this could also be seen as a “pro” by some.

Pros: Mormons never wanted to be part of the U.S. (Google “Deseret” sometime) and they’d probably be allies with gays so long as allowed to make their own tweaks to marriage definitions as well. Natural wonders have pockets of trendy boutiques to satisfy shopping urges, satisfying both overachieving athletic gays and antiquing gays.

Cons: The Great Salt Lake will never be a beach destination. Also, Mormons.

Pros: Branson, Missouri features Soji Tabuchi, the Japanese fiddler, Yakov Smirnov, the Russian comic and more theater seats than Broadway. William S. Burroughs was born in St. Louis and his home is a pilgrimage site for too-smart-for-their-own-good homo hipsters.

Cons: Only slightly less homophobic than neighboring Oklahoma.

Pros: The most obvious thing to do is to separate the state in two, giving the gays their historical homelands of San Francisco, L.A., Palm Springs and San Diego and allow the remaining heterosexuals to make do out in the deserts and Central Valley.

Cons: For some reason, we think dividing the state in two and forcing one group into economic desperation is a recipe for trouble.

Pros: Plenty of culture in Apsen and Denver is the best kept secret in the U.S. The city is beautiful, it’s progressive, there’s a great gay scene (any bar that has techno on one side and lesbians line dancing on the other is okay by us) and lots of hot cowboy-stock guys.

Cons: Colorado Springs.

North Carolina
Pros: Offers both the mountains and the beach. Genteel southern living abounds and you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a Southern gay pride parade.

Cons: Is infested with Nancy Robertson of Arden, North Carolina.

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  • Michael

    The California Con sounds oddly familiar in today’s world. Give me a few minutes and I may remember why…

  • Steven

    You should consider New Mexico. Also progressive in our own way (we voted for Obama this time around, and our entire congressional delegation is Dem), we’re one of the few states that still does not have a DOMA or a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, as well as one of the few states that has an ENDA (and I think the only one whose ENDA includes gender identity).

    Bonus plus: no one can remember that we’re actually a state in the first place, so it would be a while before anyone misses us.

  • Ken from CT

    Japhy, what’s the deal?? I believe the purpose of your piece was to point out the homophobic and utterly stupid remarks made by this woman and then you ruin it all by adding your own into the mix?? “Connecticut, New York’s armpit”?? Have you ever visited here? Do you realize that Connecticut is one of the most beautiful states in the union and the wealthiest?? Get with the program, man. Say what you want about the haters, but don’t become one yourself.

  • L

    Speaking of “historical homelands”, do not forget that the sky fairy promised us Key West and P-Town, and well… all of Massachusetts. I’ll always remember dining at a random restaurant in Western MA just off the interstate, looking around, and saying to my partner “looks like lesbian night here”.

  • Qjersey

    Staten Island!!!

    Lots of green space for lesbians hiking, family picnics and boys getting up to no good!

    Beaches, easy access to NYC nightlife and NJ Malls (and the ferry is already, uh, notorious)

    There are only 500,000 residents… we could buy them all out within 10 years, LOL.

  • Amber LeMay

    Oh, how soon they forget.

    Pros: Wasn’t it VERMONT that gave us our first civil union opportunities? And if VERMONT doesn’t have the most rights granted to us… there aren’t many states that can beat it. Need more? Check out the documentary “Slingbacks and Syrup” ( And we’re just a quick trip to Montreal!!! AND we’re the only state that W has not visitied as President!!

    Cons: If you don’t like snow, the cold and long dark nights, you might a have problem.

  • Alexa

    Maybe the best thing would be for Ms Robertson to move back to Jackson, as we were in NC before SHE infested it. Though Jackson is probably glad to be rid of her.

  • JNunzio

    I have to agree with Ken from CT. Having grown up in the Nutmeg State, I couldn’t be more proud that CT allows gay marriage with nary a fight. Why ya gotta hate on CT when there are plenty of states doing NOTHING for the gays that we should be picking fights with instead?

  • ChristopherM


    I lived there for 3 years and absolutely loved it. New Mexico would be a fantastic gay homeland for us.

  • Japhy Grant

    @JNunzio: Your editor lived in New Milford for a while, but also in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Maryland, Ohio, New Mexico and California. Connecticut totally has it’s charms. It also has Hartford.

    @Steven: I almost included New Mexico! I love the 505 and would love some day to retire there and gorge myself on sweet rolls at Frontier til I keel over and die.

  • Chris from CT

    “The Armpit of New York?”

    I’ll bet we’re better than you’re state hahaha

    Which is pretty safe to say since:

    CT has consistently had one of the lowest divorce rates in the US, the highest percentage of individuals attaining a Master’s Degree, the highest per capita income, human development rating, not to mention a host of democratic and republican lawmakers who are gay allies such as Christopher Shays, Jodi Rell, etc. CT subsidizes your state, as well. For every dollar we send to the IRS, CT receives back about 69¢ in Federal Funding. We have the second highest GDP per capita of all the states. We also elected the first woman governor…

    I could go on, but I think it’s more productive to pick on JERSEY!

  • Ted

    Apparently, everyone is CT has a small penis or ego or both. Or at least the ones who read this blog.

    Moving on, I would suggest taking over Montana. It has a lot of land and natural resources. It’s small population could easily be turned out/evicted to Wyoming and N. Dakota (doubling their populations!). And with all of that space, we could make Billings or Great Falls into a gleaming metropolis!

  • Into the NIghtlife

    Uh…Jaffey…you do not know the East COast very well do you?

    Connecticut…(with the exception of some pockets like New Haven and Bridgeport) is actually very tony and prosperous.

    Parts of Jersey are more commonly thought of as “New York’s armpit.”

    And the world’s armpit has to be traffic-clogged Los Angeles, darling.

  • Japhy Grant

    @Into the NIghtlife: I was born in Rhode Island. I went to high school in Mass and started college in New Hampshire, before going to NYU. I lived in Connecticut. My cousin dives for lobsters and my parent’s Boston Terrier has her own Pats jersey. My East Coast bona fides are not to be qustioned!*

    If it’ll make you feel any better, I should probably rephrase it and say that Connecticut is the taint of New England.

    * For those of you NOT from New England, you’re witnessing one of the more pleasant parts of the region, which is how each state believes it’s superior to the others. Vermont has its hippies, New Hampshire has its whack-job libertarians (read: Confederate flags on pick-up trucks), Maine has its um– moose?, Rhode Island has the water and Mass has the attitude and snobbery. I don’t really know what Connecticut has, though. The Metro-North?

  • scott to trot

    How about DC Statehood? We’re already a good part of the way there.

  • Steven

    @ChristopherM: One con: it’s a desert so, you know … be sure to bring your own water.

  • Alexa

    @Into the NIghtlife:

    And parts of NJ are quite beautiful, there is more to the state than the view from the turnpike and Atlantic City.

    And what’s wrong with armpits, anyway? :)

  • Jamie

    Vermont has hippies, Japhy? Know of a state that doesn’t? They’re easier to deal with than rednecks, btw. :) I agree with Amber here, you missed the boat by not including Vermont in your list. FIRST with civil unions, remember. Lived here all my life, and so has my partner, and we’ve got a great life together here. EPIC FAIL on this one. ;)

  • chuck

    Well, that takes care of all the states I have lived in, which would be New York, New Jersey and now Florida in my retirement.

    No snarky comments about it? I could ad a few of my own if you can’t come with any?

  • Heather Elise Hamilton

    What about NH? It’s where all the libertarians are making their forts. You know, like with blankets and sofa cushions.
    Hi Japhy I love you!

  • Emily

    Though I’m tempted by New Mexico’s grooviness and pleasant weather, I still have to chime in and campaign on behalf of my adopted state: Wisconsin.

    Oh I know, I can hear you all snickering. But hear me out! We’ve got a handful of great cities (our capital, Madison, is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live, was recently noted as a good place to find jobs in this terrible economy, is very queer-friendly, has more restaurants per capita than pretty much anywhere else, and has lots of recreation, shopping, education, and nightlife opportunities–all without being a dirty, huge city!). We’ve also got beautiful countryside, an engaged electorate, and less chance of being utterly destroyed by natural disasters. :)

    Plus, cheese. Oh so much cheese.

  • Jadis

    I suggest Svalbard (the archipelago to the . Sounds crazy, but really apart from the climate and dark, it has a lot going for it:

    The Svalbard Treaty allows anyone from a member state to go there, which includes the US, Canada, Australia and much of Europe.

    It is virtually uninhabited; no need to displace anyone.

    It’s governed by Norway, which is pretty queer friendly as countries go, and would likely be sympathetic.

    It has a high-speed fibre optic line to Europe, so high-tech infrastructure is already there.

    It’s bigger than Holland, so there is room to grow, and adequate resources.

    It’s geographically close to Europe and not that far from the US.

    So what to do about the generally wretched climate (though the gulf stream keeps it much warmer than other places at similar latitude)? Reach back to the 60s future – dome city! Come on, wouldn’t that be awesome? Who didn’t imagine themselves living in one by the time we were our age now? Plus it would be totally gay and fabulous, none of that ugly het architecture.

    Or maybe I’m just a bit high.

  • Buck

    I’d say South Carolina too. Same mountains and beach thing as NC but… South Carolina also has Charleston with it’s lovely colonial charm and lots of great mansions too! SC is also the home state of Eartha Kitt so we could have a national holiday in her honor! Besides, it’s my home state originally and it’d be nice to export those homophobes and reclaim my old stomping grounds!

  • Into the Nightlife

    @Alexa: As a former Jersey boy and now a Brooklyn native, I agree – there are parts of Jersey that are gorgeous.

    It is just that traditionally that phrase was attributed to Jersey – ’cause a lot of clueless people only saw a brief view from the turnpike!

  • Mikey

    Svalbard as a gay Zion? Wow sign me up!

  • Dave

    I got put in for Texas after all theoretically its the state with the best legal basis to secede from the Union – its the only one that entered the Union as an independent state (recognized by foreign nations and independent nation for 10 years, take that bear flag republic (CA)).

    Pros: Everything is bigger in Texas, this is well acknowledged. We have virtually every type of terrain desirable – beaches (the gulf with its nice warm currents), forests (mid-east Texas and the Central Hill Country), the bayou (east Texas), the desert surrounding El Paso and that’s not counting the land we could reclaim from Oklahoma and Colorado in addition to a sizable chunk of the mid-west. We could evict GB from Dallas who wouldn’t want to see him evicted? We could readily receive military support from Latin America. There are a variety of natural resources to be used in furnishing our new home land. We have the River Walk and the Alamo. There are a number of vineyards in central Texas. We’ve got our cuisine Tex-Mex and of course the stars are bright. It should be easy to scare off religious fanatics of the Mega-Churches and the Mega-Church’s have nice gardens usually. We’re a major exporter of football players.

    Cons: A Texas Vegetarian actually does eat meat, they just don’t eat meat from animals that are cute ie cats, dogs, rabbits, deer…. parrots? Everything is bigger in Texas including our borders. We would face stiff resistance in Lubbock and particularly College Station (they’re Aggies and rather right wing). The Gulf of Mexico is kind of a greenish color… a solid greenish color. Sorry can’t do anymore cons you can’t honestly expect a Texas home-boy to do more of those now can you?

  • Jefferson

    Feel free to contact Nancy to let her know how you feel!

    Nancy Robertson
    1268 Tunnel Rd
    Asheville, NC
    (828) 298-3927

  • TonyinStPete

    Florida has a large population of gays, including many seniors. The weather is beautiful (80 degrees here in St. Pete today), the beaches are spectacular, and housing costs are now quite reasonable.

    There is a large senior GLBT community here who enjoy the laid-back lifestyle but with all the cultural advantages of a major urban area. Yes, our laws with regard to GLBT people are outdated, but the nice people and great weather somewhat makes up for it.

  • chuck


    “and housing costs are now quite reasonable.”

    Wait! Wait! They’ll get even better. lol

    BTW, are you the Tony I knew from my Tampa Pharaohs days?

  • BrianPrince

    @Chris from CT:

    Beign a rich state… doesn’t mean you’re a better state… it just means you’re a “better-than-thou” state… as you’ve proven.


    I plan to move to Texas to teach in about two and a half years… if you give me a little time, I’m quite confident I can indroctrinate my pupils so that they become sympathizers.

  • Steven

    @Dave: The other con for New Mexico is, as they say: so far from heaven, so close to Texas.

  • Tom

    Reppin here for Washington state, the OTHER Washington. But first, a small surgical procedure: lop off the Puget Sound at the Cascade Mountains and we create a safe and friendly territory.

    Consider our assets: Seattle (very liberal Rep Jim McDermott country, highly gay population, nationally known alt and indie music scene chock full of members of our tribe; a couple universities on the national gay friendliest lists: U. Puget Sound, and Evergreen State U.; and gorgeous mountains for the lesbians to camp in and climb.

    Cons: OK, Ok, so the gays like the sun, don’t they… Well, July through October are sunny. Deal with it. It’s worth it.

  • Ron

    Time for Wisconsin to weigh in. Literally the land of milk and honey. (Also mint and ginseng.) Here in Madison we have 40,000 wholesome university students, four lakes to play in, and four seasons, two of them winter.

    The chancellor of the university is an out lesbian and so is the university police chief — and so is the Madison fire chief and so is the congresswoman, Rep. Tammy Baldwin. The new speaker of the state Assembly in our beautiful Capitol is an out Madison man with a cute boyfriend. There’s even gay hockey. Nirvana for foodies. Come spend the recession here!

  • Dave

    @Steven: That’s just cause you guys can’t stomach El Paso and Tex-Mex cuisine ;)

  • BrianPrince


    I’ve never heard that, but I like it — very much.

  • Monty

    Texas??? Are you kidding me? I drove for hours and saw nothing. Isn’t it also the “State” with the most capital punishment? (In more ways than one). Too hot. Don’t forget the enormous egos and always the dull pride about being the biggest. They seem to forget that Alaska has the biggest everything. The only saving grace is Austin and the River walk in San Antonio. I have to admit Austin and San Antonio would look very nice in another state. Maybe we could ship them to “our new homeland”.

  • Richard from CT

    Hey Japhy…in ur past posting u praise CT for what they have done for gay people now u go an insult the my state…why be a hypocrite…that is kinda of like being a homophobe…so sad n narrow-minded…

  • WeTheSheeple

    What about Alabama???? Just kidding, even the bigots don’t want to stay in Alabama!

  • bob

    @Ken from CT:

    Excuse me Ken from Ct.
    One “county”(Fairfield) is the wealthiest in the country,with some pockets of that wealth scattered elsewhere in state.
    The state itself is destitute,corrupt and unable to manage itself.I moved here from N.Y.C. and am constantly amazed at the number of MURDERS .. to begin with.
    Living here is like being in limbo.Just passing time.
    I’ll Take R.I.or better yet,St.Petersburg,Fla.
    The only positive experience in Ct.I have come across is Judys’
    song “Connecticut is the place to be”.
    hugs to you all.

  • Vartan Hagopian

    Burton acknowledged homosexual experiences as a young actor on the London stage in the 1950s[citation needed]. He also suggested that perhaps all actors were latent homosexuals, and “we cover it up with drink”. In 2000, a biography of Elizabeth Taylor suggested that Burton may have had an affair with Laurence Olivier. Burton was also notorious for his unrestrained pursuit of women while filming. Joan Collins wrote that when she rejected his on-set advances, he embarked on a series of liaisons with other women including an elderly black maid who, according to Collins, was “almost toothless”. Collins playfully told Burton that she believed he would sleep with a snake if he had the chance, to which Burton is alleged to have replied “only if it was wearing a skirt, darling”.

  • Johan

    I believe you forgot:
    Pros: The Twin Cities have an abundance of theatre venues and companies, the local Minneapolis gay population (largest per capita in the US) has already pretty much cleared out those pesky homophobes, and there’s plenty of recreation options (tanning and sailing) with over 10,000 lakes to show off your new AX trunks at. For the more flannel-minded among us, the northern half of the state is home to the core of the US iron-mining industry (think about how buff that would get you…) and has some rugged Great Lakes coastline and spectacular parks.

    Cons: Prince is from Minnesota (this used to be one of the pros). Also, Minnesota has winter. Lots and lots of winter.

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