QUEER VOICES

Think Marriage Has Made Life Easier For Southern Queers? Think Again

"I mean, in the South, which one is worse? Being outed at your job or being outed at church?"

In February 2015, Shanté Wolfe-Sisson and Tori Wolfe-Sisson became the first same-sex couple to marry in Alabama.

Sadly, however, the happy couple are still dealing with discrimination as queer people more than a year after their wedding, as the Southern state has no law in place to protect citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Wolfe-Sissions open up about their struggles in a new video produced by The Guardian, which can be viewed above. 

"People are basically afraid to get married because it just doesn't stop with fear," Wolfe-Sisson notes in the video. "Literally, you can be fired if you are out publicly and your boss doesn't like it. You can be evicted -- you can be outed at your church! And I mean, in the South, which one is worse? Being outed at your job or being outed at church?"

The video's release comes at a particularly volatile time for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community across several Southern U.S. states. On March 23, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCroy signed House Bill 2 into law, effectively legalizing anti-queer discrimination statewide.

Just one week later, Mississippi passed a "religious liberty" bill that allows people with religious objections to deny services, like weddings, to same-sex couples.

"In the South, gay couples don't really show affection because anything could happen," Wolfe-Sisson continued. "Somebody could walk by and like throw a bible at us or shoot us -- the range is wide and varying. We even find ourselves sometimes not being very very close to each other -- even when we're at home. And then it's almost like checking yourself while you're thinking it. Like, 'Hold on, I get to feel like this. Nobody can control me -- nobody can control how i feel.'"

Check out the video above to hear more from the Wolfe-Sisson family and their experiences.

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