HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Lesbian couples in Mississippi and a Hattiesburg pastor are being featured in a Showtime documentary called "The L word Mississippi: Hate the Sin."
The documentary explores what it is like for lesbian couples to live in Mississippi, and how they cope with the hardships of being gay in a conservative, religious state.
Sara Bell of Petal was featured in the documentary, and said that she struggles with being gay and living in the Pine Belt.
"I would like for people to realize that we are just trying to live our lives, and that discriminatory laws make it hard to be who we are," said Bell. "Just show compassion to people, no matter what your religious preference may be."
The ShowTime trailer also features Hattiesburg pastor Randy Cofield, who offers the counter argument to the couple's claims.
Brandiilyne Dear, a Laurel resident, was also featured in the documentary. Brandiilyne said being a part of the documentary gave her a chance to show her side.
"It's not easy putting your life out there," said Brandiilyne. "I felt very vulnerable at times, but I felt like it was extremely important to stand up and speak out for the LGBT community in the South."
Brandiilyne said she is wary of how the Pine Belt will respond to the documentary.
"I am afraid," said Brandiilyne. "I suppose I will do what I did two years ago when I was rejected by those I love...I will just over come it."
Brandiilyne hopes that although the topic may be controversial to some, that people in her area will keep an open mind when they watch it.
"I want everyone in the Pine Belt to remember that the real L word is love, and it's just that simple," said Brandiilyne.
The documentary airs on Showtime Friday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT.