More LGBTQ people live in the Southern United States than in any other region of the country. But for the one in three LGBTQ adults who call the South home, a lack of progressive laws and policies make the region a uniquely hostile place to live. A report from the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) explores distinct challenges for LGBTQ communities in 14 Southern states, as well as the unique opportunities for advancing legal equality in the region.

“It is important to note that the South’s political and social distinctiveness means LGBTQ life and advocacy in the South are often much less oriented toward the policy goals or state legislative strategies more typically pursued in other parts of the country,” the report states. “Instead, Southern LGBTQ activism may more often focus on direct service provision, community and coalition building, local policy change, and intersectional advocacy beyond a state legislative context or explicitly LGBTQ issues.”