I have been posed the question “Why do you live in the South?” a lot lately. As someone who is gay, married, and raising a family; I can see how people would struggle to see why I would chose the south. It is often considered to be the opposite of who I am.
I have written a handful of posts specifically about living in Louisiana here that will paint a picture of the south through my eyes.
Trying to put into words what the south means to a southerner is difficult to do, so I will start at the beginning.
Being a southerner is like being a part of a secret club that everyone knows about. You have to prove yourself to get invited in, but once you are in you are in for life. Of course unless you do something crazy. In which case, you need to openly ask Jesus for forgiveness and we will let you back in.
The south is the people. Sure you could say it is something about those long hot summers and never ending glasses of sweet tea that do something to you, but down here it is about the people. The whole town may talk about what crazy things you did last saturday night and how they cannot believe you are dating so and so, but if you are sick the whole town shows up with a hot meal. The first words children are taught is please, thank you, and sorry. Yes Ma’am and No sir apply to everyone out of respect. It is not about your age.
And then there is the food. It isn’t simply food. It is bacon cooked in brown sugar, pecans, and cayenne pepper. Food is not something you do to get the best body or help you finish the race. It is a ritual, an event, and a time to catch up with family and friends.
As the suns sets on a warm summer evening with the breeze blowing past you full of memories of times past, and you sink into your porch swing, you can feel the soul of the south wrapping its arms around you whispering sweet nothings in your ear.