A Mississippi resident, Auston wants to represent his community in a positive light -- his Tupelo community and his LGBTQ community.

“We are just as equal as the next person beside us,” Auston said in a video for HRC’s #LoveYourNeighbor campaign, a storytelling series focused on sharing the stories of LGBTQ and allied people in Tupelo. “It should be all about loving each other, because that is what God preached...And respect one another and don’t make us feel less than, because we’re not."

Auston says that through open dialogue, things are getting better and minds and hearts are changing day by day. Sharing personal stories is one of the most powerful ways to create more inclusive environments, and when people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality.

“What I hope for the future of Tupelo and Mississippi as a whole -- I would love to see a complete acceptance of the LGBT community,” Auston said.

On Tuesday, March 7, the #LoveYourNeighbor campaign will culminate with a town hall discussion in Tupelo featuring all seven videos of the participants. You can learn more about the town hall here.

In 2014, HRC launched Project One America, a comprehensive multi-year effort to dramatically expand LGBTQ equality in the South through permanent campaigns in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.


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