Tippi and Barbara, an Arkansas couple featured in the video
WATCH: LGBT Southerners Keep Up the Fight for Equality

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com May 12 2014 7:10 PM ET

LGBT equality activists in other parts of the U.S. may have written off the Deep South as a lost cause — but there’s reason to stay and fight in the region, say southerners appearing in a new video for the Human Rights Campaign’s Project One America.

“It feels like there’s a shift happening in people’s awareness, and it just takes one of their children to come out before boom! they’re right there with us,” says one participant in the video, which spotlights LGBT people in Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas (the latter, incidentally, having just been the site of a favorable marriage equality ruling).

With Project One America, HRC has set up offices in those three states with staff members working full-time to advance LGBT rights. There are no nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people in any of the three states.

“Right now, this country is deeply divided into two Americas — one where LGBT equality is nearly a reality and the other where LGBT people lack the most fundamental measures of equal citizenship,” said HRC president and Arkansas native Chad Griffin in announcing the project. “Project One America is an unparalleled effort to close that gap, and it opens up a bold, new chapter in the LGBT civil rights movement of this generation. In this grand struggle for equality, we can’t write off anyone, anywhere.”

Watch the video below.