John Denver sang:
“Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home, country roads”
We spent the day in West Virginia driving through the winding mountainous country roads searching for someone to interview. We were able to get in touch with Scott from Fairness West Virginia who made some magic happen and hooked us up with Coy Flowers. Coy is an openly gay doctor in rural West Virginia. He took time out of his busy day to sit down with us for an interview at the Greenbrier Medical Center. Coy is a board member of Fairness West Virginia and an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality. This state lacks protects for LGBT workers, doesn’t have an inclusive hate-crimes law, and won’t allow Coy and his partner to marry. Yet, there is progress being made. The West Virginia legislature came close to passing a workplace nondiscrimination law this year, and will take it up again next year. Coy and his parter have a three year old child and live their lives openly and honestly. I believe he is right when he said that living openly, being out, is the way that West Virginians, and all of us, will win our battle for equality.
We had an interesting mishap last night. While posting to this blog, I had my computer plugged in and drained the car battery. We had to call AAA to get a jump start. (Thanks Uncle Ricky!!) Then we left Virginia and headed into West Virginia. We pulled off the highway and slept in a parking lot right over the state line. We have been driving through the mountains all day. Our interview with Coy was the highlight of the day, but we also met a wonderful woman in the parking lot at Coy’s office.
She was a retired military woman who saw us filming at the van and wanted to know what we were up to. We told her about Driving Equality and asked her what she felt about LGBT rights. She mentioned that she had gays friends in the military and that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was ridiculous. She also told us about her friend who was a teacher until he was fired for being gay.
Now we are parked in a rest area, taking a break, before we drive to Louisville, Kentucky where we have an interview set up for tomorrow.
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