Southern Hospitality LGBT Style

collage vintage travel ad Gay , carefree tours and southern gentlemen

Dixie is really dishing out that famous southern hospitality for the LGBT community!

Anyone planning that gay, carefree vacation down south might want to think again.

As the controversial cluster of anti LGBT laws cut a swath through the south spreading faster than Sherman’s march to Atlanta, the results are equally disastrous causing  many to reconsider their springtime in Dixie travel plans.

Hospitality is Quickly Recognized

Mississippi Miss hospitality vintage ad

Hospitality Month was a regular feature of advertising and marketing efforts. A corner stone of the May Mississippi observance is the annual Miss Hospitality contest. “Its all waiting for you in the warn sunshine of the Hospitality State, the southern belle coos in an ad.”Let yourself go. Come to Mississippi the place to be.” Except of course if you’re gay

Sure,  May is Hospitality Month in Mississippi and “No state says welcome like Mississippi.”

That southern charm, bucolic land of magnolia blossoms, antebellum mansions, and an almost religious reverence to the past is perfectly expressed in that welcome wagon legislation known as the Religious Freedom bill. Yes traditional southern hospitality warms every straight visitors heart, a place where time has stood still…literally.

I Wish I Were in Dixie

Since 1949, Miss Hospitality dressed in a formal gown with a tiara and a Miss Hospitality sash, has been beckoning tourists  and industry to come on down to Mississippi.

vintage illustration ante-bellum plantation

The southern myth of gracious Old Southern hospitality was been perpetuated to lure visitors and industrial expansion to Mississippi at a time when Southern reality was not nearly as pleasant as the southern fantasy. Vintage illustration 1949 Budweiser Beer ad

In 1949 then Governor Fielding Wright in his efforts to modernize Mississippi and bring tourism money while building civic pride, proudly proclaimed that May would forever be known as “Hospitality Month.

Tell that to those folks living under Jim Crow.

Mississippi Is More Than Meets The Eye

collage vintage ad mississippi more than meets the eye and vintage cartoon

“Mississippi,” one ad claimed  is  “more than meets the eye.”

“Pleasant scenery, Mississippi has it and more; interesting battlefields, lovely antebellum homes open year round. You can see it and more but you just can’t visualize the warm friendly welcome awaiting.” That’s because if you’re LGBT it isn’t there.

Just remember,  if you’re gay, you’re as welcome as an 1950’s African American in a whites only drinking fountain.

North Carolina

Another fine state in your gay, carefree, discover America journey is North Carolina. Trans Travelers tip-  just make sure you make a rest stop before entering the state of North Carolina.


North Carolina travel ad SWScan06265

One travel ad beckons – “Begin your North Carolina coastal vacation in in the Virginia Dare Country – where America began.” Just don’t dare to use the wrong bathroom.

“Sir Walter Raleigh pioneers braved through here, the lost colony is recreated  for you – experience the  danger courage and adventure,” which just about sums up you’re your experience in trying to find the correct rest room.

“Then in easy trips enjoy the countless contrasting pleasures of North Carolina, thrill to coastal fishing, relax on sunny beaches, visit  lazy River plantations where lingers the spirit of other centuries”… not unlike the recent  anti-LGBT laws.

gas texaco rest rooms tomgirl

North Carolina’s new anti LGBT bathroom laws require transgender individuals to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender at birth. Vintage ad Texaco Clean rest rooms

Pack lightly but be sure to pack your birth certificate when traveling to the state whose motto is To Be, Rather Than Seem, since transgender men and women can only use bathrooms that correspond with their gender at birth.

“You’ll forget to hurry when in North Carolina.” ( unless you used the wrong rest room).

Vintage Tennessee travel ad

For another fun-filled state…things are happening in Tennessee.

“On a Tennessee vacation the days – glorious days slip by all too fast,” the travel ads tell us. “You’ll wish that time could stand still so that you could enjoy it on and on. You haven’t seen America till you’ve seen Tennessee,” yet one more hate filled state

“Get away from it all, plan to pack up and head  for Tennessee store away those workaday blues learn how wonderful life can be in Tennessee Worries vanish as you settle back and r-e-l-a-x.”

“Tennessee’s famous natural beauty will sooth those tense nerves.”

In fact it’s your only option of working away your worries  since there’s no hope of getting any mental health counseling if you are tense and trans in Tennessee. ( The house  passed legislation allowing mental health counselors to refuse service to LGBT patients on religious grounds.)

Your Key To Summer Hospitality

collage Gay flag and Southern Hospitality illustration

With anti-LGBT laws successfully passing and advancing across the south,  South Carolina wants to join on the hate bandwagon hoping  to pass a bill discriminating against trans people bathroom use.

Vintage South Carolina travel ad

“This is my home state, Miss Universe 1955 proudly states in this ad for South Carolina,  “and I’m proud to be able to invite you personally to see South Carolina where the Old South lends romance and enchantment to the gaiety of the new.

But just not too gay.

The key to summer hospitality….stay away from the south. Pledge to not spend your tourist dollars in North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee or any state that promotes prejudice and hate.


The North Carolina governor responding to business pulling out and boycotting his state issues an executive order responding to the backlash against the anti  LGBT law HB2, but falls woefully short of a repeal.

© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.




  1. Now I know why some insisted on seeing Obama’s birth certificate. They wanted to know which rest room they would allow him to use. After all, he was half white, half African.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. According to the Intersexed Society of North America 1 out of every 100 births in North America are inter-sexed births. 1 out of 1,666 have no clear XX or XY chromosome structure.

    In other words, all this wide-spectrumed sexual ambiguity happens prenatally. To be perfectly CLEAR, sexuality and sexual-orientation develops in the earliest stages of the first trimester of pregnancy. However, due to the severe stigma “binary mainstream” society treats inter-sexed babies, toddlers, teenagers, and young adults, this figure is most likely (very?) conservative. Then to make matters more magnificently diverse and complex, many young adults don’t truly figure out precisely their hormonal-physical attractions until well into 25-35 years of age! This begs the question: What are the Conservative Rights/Extremists basing their position/information on!? 😮

    An excellent post Sally on a very sad inhumane subject. ❤ Much more quality scientific education is in order, and WAY PAST due!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mr. Militant Negro

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.


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