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Discrimination and opression can be a part of a queer person’s daily routine, such as going to the supermarket, attending classes or mass, and even at home. Unfortunately, the LGBTQ+ community does not have complete, protective rights in the United States despite recent expansion of legal rights through progressive jurisprudence. However, advancement of equal rights in the legal arena does not adequately address or protect everyone in the LGBTQ+ community. In the discussion of LGBTQ+ rights, conversation often adopts a dichotomous approach to queer issues, and as a result, can exclude those who do not fit into one simple category. An intersectional approach recognizes that different social categorizations create interactive and independent systems of discrimination and privilege. Specifically, there has been little research of queers in non-urban areas; most scholarly research is based in urban areas and coastal regions. This research focus could be attributed to the “escape to urban oases'' for queers; however, there are still a large portion of the LGBTQ+ community in non-urban areas. My research project will be taking an intersectional approach to the unique experiences of queers within non-urban areas of Kentucky and how they go about creating connectedness, inclusivity, recognition, and affirmation (internally and externally). Most of the research will focus on the personal stories of myself and others, being qualitative in nature. A large emphasis will be placed on the culture of non-urban Kentucky; more specifically, family, faith, education, and community. With a culture deeply rooted in tradition and faith, religious exemptions are a common discussion within non-urban Kentucky, so this will also be explored. It is my hope that this research will bring attention to the unique, but not exclusive, experiences of the LGBTQ+ community, and aid in pushing for wider-inclusivity in protection policies for the LGBTQ+ community.



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The Unique Experience of Living in Non-Urban Kentucky as LGBTQ+ Youth: Encouraging Wider-Inclusivity in Protection Policies for The LGBTQ+ Community