Today HRC released the first video in a series titled “#LoveYourNeighbor,” a storytelling project focused on sharing the experiences of LGBTQ people and allies in Tupelo, Miss. The project was funded by a grant from Toyota, which has a manufacturing plant in Blue Springs, Miss, just outside of Tupelo.

The first video features Meredith and Josh, a mother-son duo who talk movingly about Josh’s coming out, and the journey that they have taken toward greater understanding of each other through the lens of Josh’s identity. “To be a good parent of an LGBT son is the same as being a good parent of any child,” says Meredith, who wears a necklace marking the date and time Josh came out to her. “The importance to me was just that it represented probably the struggle that he had dealt with leading up to that moment.” The video can be seen here.

“Sharing our personal stories is one of the most powerful ways we as LGBTQ people can change hearts and minds,” said Rob Hill, HRC Mississippi state director.  “By opening their lives to their fellow Mississippians, Meredith and Josh -- and others featured in our #LoveYourNeighbor series -- are bravely taking action to create a more inclusive climate in their hometown. HRC Mississippi is grateful to Toyota for making this project possible.”

HRC will release six additional videos over the next few weeks in advance of a March 7 town hall discussion in Tupelo featuring the video participants. The videos will be posted on hrc.im/LoveYourNeighbor and on Facebook.com/hrcmississippi

In 2014, HRC launched Project One America, an initiative geared towards advancing social, institutional and legal equality in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. HRC Mississippi continues to work to advance equality for LGBTQ Mississippians who have no state level protections in housing, workplace, or public accommodations. Through HRC Mississippi, we are working toward a future of fairness every day—changing hearts, minds and laws toward achieving full equality.


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