Gay parenting more common in the South.

There is an interesting article in the New York Times today that in “the South” there have sprung up communities of gay parents of very diverse backgrounds.

In addition, the data show, child rearing among same-sex couples is more common in the South than in any other region of the country, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the University of California, Los Angeles. Gay couples in Southern states like Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are more likely to be raising children than their counterparts on the West Coast, in New York and in New England.

The pattern, identified by Mr. Gates, is also notable because the families in this region defy the stereotype of a mainstream gay America that is white, affluent, urban and living in the Northeast or on the West Coast.

“We’re starting to see that the gay community is very diverse,” said Bob Witeck, chief executive of Witeck-Combs Communications, which helped market the census to gay people. “We’re not all rich white guys.”

Black or Latino gay couples are twice as likely as whites to be raising children, according to Mr. Gates, who used data from a Census Bureau sampling known as the American Community Survey. They are also more likely than their white counterparts to be struggling economically.

I’m not really a fan of suggesting that “even in the backwards South!!” gay parenting is becoming more common. I think it is unfair to always assume if something progressive is happening in the South we should all be in shock and awe. But, hey, I’m not from the South. I think part of the reason certain Southern locales may be more conducive to gay parenting is because it is cheaper to raise children in those places, so there is probably a chance that gay parenting in those places is proportionate to the reality that parenting in those places is more common. Furthermore, the assumption that only “rich gay men” adopt is false, something you probably already know but now has statistical evidence to back it up. But I do wonder, is a culture of adopting children, raising “other people’s” kids in general or having non-normative household structures more common in working class communities of color anyway, making it more common for working class gay people of color more likely to adopt or have it be normal to have alternative family structures?

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