Ahhh, The Great State of Missouri! Missouri has much to offer in the way of entertainment, culture and recreational activities. But how well does Missouri stack up against other states when it comes to their general acceptance of people that live openly homosexual lifestyles? Let’s take a look…
With two major metrpolitan areas, Kansas City and St. Louis, there are a number of areas within both cities that offer a myriad of attractions for all tourists. The new Kansas City Cultural Arts Center, The Nelson-Atkins art gallery, two major league baseball teams and two football teams are but a few attractions that draw people from everywhere to the metrpolitan areas of Missouri. The nightlife in both of these cities boasts large nightclubs and excellent dining possibilities as well. You have the Kansas City and St. Louis Zoos that offer all-day fun too. There really are too many activities and venues to list in one article, but suffice it to say that a person will never really run out of things to keep them entertained and busy. Being openly gay/lesbian in these two major cities is generally accepted by the local population although not as much as one would expect in areas along the coast or the northeast and northwest regions of the country. One has to keep in mind that this area is overwhelmingly conservative with the exception of these two major cities, which lean towards being a little more progressive.
When leaving the metropolitan areas of this state, the landscape changes significantly and quickly. The tall skyscrapers and urban hustle will be replaced by neighborhoods, farm fields, livestock and people who may not be as friendly as their city counterparts. Thats not to say that they are hostile either, they usually are far from it, truthfully. But its not uncommon for people who live in these parts of the state (which is actually most of the state) to stare a little longer, quickly turn their heads when they’ve been noticed to be staring, whispering to their companions in hushed tones, etc. Children wil often ask questions out loud about what they see, only to be answered by parents who seem to be uncomfortable with the question asked and even more uncomfortable with how they might answer the it.
On the flip-side of the varying amounts of discomfort that one might experience in the more rural areas of the state, southern hospitatlity is generally offered to everyone–regardless of their sexual orientation. Waitresses, customer service associates, bartenders and local businesses of all varieties will not seem shocked to see openly gay/lesbian couples, and why would they? Just as the rest of the nation’s same-sex couples become more open about their choice in partners, so goes Missouri.
As in all cases, there are always going to be exceptions to the rule. There will always be people out there who will showcase their hate and ignorance and make utter fools of themselves. Missouri will have those individuals, just as the rest of the nation does. But by and large, I would say one gets the sense that the good people of Missouri have accepted same-sex couples, if not embraced them. As stated previously, Missouri has much to offer and is very welcoming to people of all backgrounds and lifestyles.