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Why The South Is Bursting With (Black And Latino) Gay Parents

Think New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are the gay bastions of America? They might be — for single people. But it’s the South — in cities like Jacksonville, Florida, and Jackson, Mississippi — that are more likely to have gays raising children, a new analysis of recent Census Bureau data reveals, according to the Times. How come?

[C]hild rearing among same-sex couples is more common in the South than in any other region of the country, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the University of California, Los Angeles. Gay couples in Southern states like Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are more likely to be raising children than their counterparts on the West Coast, in New York and in New England.

The pattern, identified by Mr. Gates, is also notable because the families in this region defy the stereotype of a mainstream gay America that is white, affluent, urban and living in the Northeast or on the West Coast. “We’re starting to see that the gay community is very diverse,” said Bob Witeck, chief executive of Witeck-Combs Communications, which helped market the census to gay people. “We’re not all rich white guys.” Black or Latino gay couples are twice as likely as whites to be raising children, according to Mr. Gates, who used data from a Census Bureau sampling known as the American Community Survey. They are also more likely than their white counterparts to be struggling economically.

Experts offer theories for the pattern. A large number of gay couples, possibly a majority, entered into their current relationship after first having children with partners in heterosexual relationships, Mr. Gates said. That seemed to be the case for many blacks and Latinos in Jacksonville, for whom church disapproval weighed heavily.

Which means that even an absence of laws protecting gay families against discrimination, or simply allowing them to file state taxes together, is going to keep gay families from existing. Ponder that, Marco Rubio! Plus, the weather is nicer. Couple this data with recent polling that shows Latinos are among the country’s biggest gay marriage supporters, and I’d hazard a guess that, yes, knowing gay families encourages people to support their rights.

Are you a gay parent living in the South? Tell us about the level of acceptance you’ve experienced.

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  • Kev C

    The problem with this Census data is that doesn’t say where most of the children come from. It speculates that they are from previous (closeted) relationships. But another factor is foster parenting in Florida. Gays can foster, and the state pays them a supplement to do so.

  • disco lives

    I find it highly doubtful that minority working-class lesbian mothers in the South read blogs like Queerty.

    However, thanks for posting this news anyway. You’re not as tacky as I once thought.

  • tinkerbell

    I am a white, gay male single parent of 2 kids who is a health care professional. We live in rural Tennessee. I was also discharged from the Army Reserve under DADT. We gay parents are here and we do exist.

    I feel that we are in a different situation than most gay families. Since I’m single and have raised my kids (both teenage boys) since birth, our family has experienced more issues related to single parents-gay and straight than same-sex couple discrimination. The only impact my being gay has had on our family is the loss of my military career (and p/t income) and just the stupid comments my kids and I have to put up with in town and school. Oh yeah, and there are the harassing religious tracks that some idiot keeps mailing us anonymously.

  • Casey


    Why would you make kids go through that? You are selfish.

  • Danny

    Gay people should breed nonstop and change the demographics by raising tens of millions of children, who in a mere 18 years will come to voting age.

  • tinkerbell

    @Casey: Why am I “selfish?” I brought 2 wonderful kids into the world, gave them a loving, nurturing home with someone who has given his entire life to them. They are provided for more materially than 98% of the world’s children, emotionally more than 99% of the world’s children, and lovingly more than 100% of the world’s children. My elder son is in pharmacy school to become a pharmacist. All they have to do is put up with bullshit like yours from ignorant, small people.

  • Hotone2me


    .. Go through what… life???  What are you implying exactly here?  I hope that you are not saying that Tinkerbelle is responsible for the ignorance that is in every community around the country.  I really hope that you are referring to another matter that is not posted for my eyes.

    Although  Tinkerbelle took the time out to justify himself, he nor anyone else owes you not one explanation as to how they became parents and are now living openly as LGBT!!  

     Selfish is continuance of living a lie and teaching your children to feel ashamed of themselves ( And they would learn that once they figure out that mommy love women or daddy love men or mommy feels that she is a man, or daddy feels that he is a woman) but the truth is never spoken perpetuate shame!!  That’s selfish!!  

    Think.. learn.. love!!! 

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