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Lake Eureka in Arkansas has been dubbed the "gayest small town in America," BYU's Instagram garners the attention of pro-LGBT protesters, and Elevate North Texas steps up for LGBT homeless youth.

The ‘Gayest Small Town in America’ Thrives in the Bible Belt

Once revered as the “gayest small town in America,” Eureka Springs has exemplified how LGBT and straight conservatives can peacefully coexist.

This small town in Arkansas has its streets flooded with rainbow staircases and street crosswalks while a “nearly 70-foot-tall Jesus statue” overlooks the city, reports CNN.

“There is a great sense of community and support across all types of people that live here,” Zeek Taylor said. “We have our little struggles, but we always come together in the end.”

Within the small town, many LGBT people own businesses that range from old timey photography studios to restaurants to rug weaving stores.

“People who see that [Pride] flag, if they’re not allies, they just don’t make their way into our bar,” said Ethan Avanzino, who owns Wanderoo Lodge with his husband David.

Though there have been conflicting times in Eureka between churches and its LGBT citizens, Pastor Blake Lasater of First United Methodist is the first church to welcome all.


Photo by Pastelitodepapa, via Wikimedia Commons


BYU’s Instagram Is the New Protesting Ground for LGBT and Allies

Brigham Young University (BYU) has garnered massive attention on social media lately due to the Utah university’s anti-LGBT policies.

Student allies and LGBT activists have taken it upon themselves to spam The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints affiliated private university’s Instagram with rainbow and Pride flag emojis.

“Happy Pride Month! Maybe BYU takes a proactive approach to becoming a safer place for ALL students,” a 2013 graduate student.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that protestors have left comments like “Love thy neighbor” and “God loves all His children” while also relating BYU’s posts to how it LGBT students and followers.

“What I hope happens is that people at BYU who are struggling will be able to see that support,” Maci Muller told The Salt Lake Tribune. “And someday I hope that everyone at BYU is able to be themselves.”


Jason Vallejo, founder and executive director of Elevate. Photo via


How Elevate North Texas is Helping Homeless LGBT Youth

During one of his mindful walks in March 2020, Jason Vallejo saw a young man sleeping on a park bench in Plano’s Haggard Park.

When Vallejo walked up to the young man, John, he explained that he was homeless and took a DART train from Dallas, Texas after not feeling safe in the homeless shelter there.

After their conversation, Vallejo pondered over the uncomfortable that young people must face when being placed in a homeless shelter. That moment, Elevate North Texas was born. It would be a nonprofit homeless shelter that was geared towards 18–24-year-old LGBT people.

As a gay man, Vallejo understood that LGBT youth were more likely to be kicked out of their homes and had a more difficult time to find a community than others.

“The national stat shows that 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ plus. So for us to be seeing 60% is just really quite telling of where we are politically because of a lot of the hate speech and rhetoric,” Vallejo said of the climate in Texas to WFAA.