Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"...we'd be beat up"

Some residents of Paris, TN were on hand at San Francisco's Pride celebration earlier in the week. The possibility of hate crimes came to mind as they expressed their wonder at the acceptance of the GLBT community in the Bay Area.

Some visitors expressed surprise at the sheer size and diversity of San Francisco's event. River Byrd, 48, and his partner, 41-year-old Mark Duncan, watched the parade before catching a plane back to Tennessee, where they live in a small, conservative town called Paris.

"It's so incredible to see this many gay people," Byrd said. "We're the buckle of the Bible Belt. If we held hands in public, we'd be beat up."

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