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‘As We Are’ essay collection hopes to explore Deep South’s LGBT stories

Brit Blalock aims to tell southern stories

Brit Blalock, an Alabama poet, hopes to fund the publishing of a collection of essays written by LGBT Southerners and donate copies of the collection to libraries across the Southeast. “As We Are” is a planned collection of 15 to 20 essays written by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender authors who grew up in the so-called “Bible Belt” of the Deep South.

“I was writing a poetry collection and my poems were mostly about the overlap of growing up gay and being a child of the South,” Blalock, who identifies as queer, said by phone. “I really wanted to see what it was like for other people. I know there's a wide variety of experience.”

Blalock began looking for works but was unable to find a similar collection. An idea took shape and Blalock began accepting submissions from authors across the region over the summer.