My Sweet Home Alabama

Tori SissonPost submitted by HRC Alabama Field Organizer Tori Sisson

Being from Las Vegas, Nevada makes me a novelty.

At social gatherings, people ask me a gaggle of silly questions: "Did you live in a hotel?""How was school at a casino?" The list can go on for pages.

What strikes me as hilarious are the faces I get when responding to queries regarding how I got to Alabama and how soon I'll be leaving. I say, "This is my home. I'm staying. Let me tell you why.”

Tuskegee University is my alma mater. I received a B.A. in History at Mother Tuskegee where she raised me as if she gave birth to me. When I was disobedient, she scolded me; on my best behavior, I was rewarded; she gave me sweets when she was happy and ignored me when she was not.

Both Tuskegee University and Tuskegee, Alabama groomed me into the woman I am. My Alabama experience has, however, been confined to the "pride of the swift growing south". I have enjoyed the hills of Birmingham, the gentle nature of Cottonwood, the slick city of Mobile and the game day traffic in Auburn.

It’s the trees and darkness of the night that give way to the stars and moonlight. I stay because I've grown to love this place where despite differences, people are cordial enough to speak when their eyes meet yours on the sidewalk and even in traffic.

That’s why working as an HRC Alabama community organizer is so important to me. I want to make sure all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have equal opportunities of the law. Alabama has no non-discrimination protections in housing, workplace, or public accommodations. I am working to expand hearts and minds, advance enduring legal protections and build more inclusive institutions across the state.

Alabama is the first place I have lived where I get homesick whenever I leave. I was not born here, I don't understand football, but my wife and I live here and this is where we call home. I love Alabama.

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