6. LGBT Families and Southern Schools: Thinking About People, Place, and Education
Introduction: “A Little Bit Gay”—The Queer State of Families in the South
LGBT Families and Southern Schools
Thinking About People, Place, and Education1
Reta Ugena Whitlock
For many Americans, the standard now against which all things Southern are measured is Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, a new hit series about a rural, working-class family in a small Georgia town on The Learning Channel (TLC). First, my non-Southern friends—I do have a few—assume that I watch the show, which I do not. Next, they assume I can verify the oddities of poor, rural Southerners portrayed on the program, which I might could, as we sometimes say, if concocting spaghetti sauce (“sketti”) from ketchup and two cups of Country Crock brand margarine (road kill as the protein ingredient is optional) in the microwave, for example, were representative of poor Southerners I know. We go to the Dollar General and buy Hunt’s sauce in a can for ninety-eight cents, which is cheaper than either Country Crock or ketchup. Maybe I do not watch the show because it hits too close to home; what I do know for certain is that it is the most blatant mocking of poor rural White people I have seen in quite a while in a world that feels quite free to blatantly mock poor rural White people.2 No wonder it is a hit.