Monday, September 18, 2006

Lesbians & gays in Rural Kansas: "We just want equal footing."

By Diane Silver

We are everywhere; I mean everywhere in Kansas. In fact, there are lesbians and gays in every one of the 105 counties in this state.

That's the word from the U.S. Census and a Hutchinson News story detailing the lives of lesbians and gays in rural, southwestern Kansas.

Noting that compromises sometimes have to be made, the average Kansans interviewed in this article do a good job of talking about life as a lesbian or gay person living in Garden City, on a ranch and in small towns in the area.

One person interviewed was Anne Mitchell, chair of the Southwestern Kansas chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition. Anne ranches with her life partner.
For her part, Mitchell notes that gay people have the same concerns as anyone else - taxes, bad roads, jobs - and just wishes the public at large could look beyond their sexuality.

"We're not to be feared," she said. "We just want equal footing."

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