H. Lukas Green and Jody May-ChangÂ©
May 3, 2008 PrideDEPOT.com
Several weeks ago, PrideDEPOT.com ran a story about a lesbian couple in North Carolina who wanted to build a recreation area called “Camp Lickalotta.” We were ready to leave it at just a crazy idea about a camp with a dubious sounding name someplace in the rural South.
We never anticipated the reaction the story would generate nor the debate that followed on our website. The many comments from locals in Shelby, NC, were emotional and they described how the local media seemed to join forces with and powerful political conservatives to fight against them. It soon appeared to us that there was much more to this story than just a campground with a dubious sounding name.
Behind the name “Camp Lickalotta” are real people who were dealing with real issues seldom seen in large cities where LGBT people are openly accepted. This is about gays and lesbians in rural America where coming out means facing powerful people who demonize you using the politics of religion.
We wanted to know what was behind the hysteria to squash the idea of an LGBT-friendly camp with an outrageous sounding name.
PrideDEPOT.com called many of the principal players in the “Camp Lickalotta” drama and found out how forcefully the fear card is played against those who just do not fit the safe and accepted heterosexual image.
In this part of western North Carolina, the story is about survival and right to live free of harassment, intimidation or the threat of physical violence. This is “Southern Discomfort.”