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In wake of Orlando, Rheta Grimsley Johnson talks coming out in the South

Crooked Letter i: Coming Out in the SouthRheta Grimsley Johnson speaks truth to power in her newest column, published in the Daily Corinthian among other newspapers. In the wake of the tragic shooting in Orlando, Johnson notes the particular danger that LGBT Southerners face being out in the South, both from hate groups and from legislation that targets LGBT citizens.

In a column entitled “Coming out in the South is no walk in the park” Johnson cites the anthology Crooked Letter i: Coming out in the South, recently published by NewSouth Books, saying, “The true stories in Crooked Letter i have one thing in common: They all are heart-rending. Edited by Connie Griffin, they deal with the moment — or, in some cases, moments — these Southern members of the LGBT community first told kin, friends or the world the truth about themselves.”

Johnson berates “hate-mongers” and legislators for targeting LGBT taxpayers, but also observes, “Once your grandmother is in the loop, has pulled you to her accepting bosom, then winning the approval of backward, hypocritical, ignorant and often crooked politicians doesn’t much matter. Those guilty lawmakers will have to live with themselves.”

Rheta Grimsley Johnson’s books Poor Man’s Provence: Finding Myself in Cajun Louisiana, Enchanted Evening Barbie and the Second Coming, and Hank Hung the Moon . . . And Warmed Our Cold, Cold Hearts are available from NewSouth Books or your favorite bookstore.