PBS takes the cake in the final installment of “Prideland”, as host Dyllón Burnside visits Campbell’s Bakery in Fondren and examines the crucial role of allies in advancing LGBTQ+ rights.
Episode six of the short-form digital series airs Tuesday, June 30 on the PBS Voices YouTube channel and features Campbell’s owner, Mitchell Moore.
Moore lead a 2014 campaign, “If You’re Buying, We’re Selling”, a grassroots effort still evidenced by colorful window stickers in businesses around the state. The aim was simple: to combat discriminatory Mississippi legislation – dubbed the “religious restoration act” – that gave him license as a baker to discriminate against customers based on his own religious beliefs.
The Jackson native said he was never asked if his business would be affected by this law one way or another. It was then he asked himself how he would respond to lawmakers – and his customers.
Moore tells Burnside that he thought, “Are you here to serve people or are you not? And does that mean some people or all people?”
During the “If You’re Buying” push, Moore said he received “hundreds of supportive calls and a few that were less than supportive.”
“That’s the moment,” he said, “[where] you have to decide who you are.”
Moore’s first exposure to the gay community came as a theater major in college, where he built friendships and grew to understand the plight of LGBTQ+ people. He recounts the misinformation he had learned about gay people before this time and called his college years “quite a lesson.”
As a straight white male, Moore considers himself an ally and said his experiences from college until now have been transformative.
“As trite as it sounds, it has made me who I am. We have to fight every day to push against, just to tell people, ‘We’re all the same.'”
“Prideland” opens a window into the world of modern-day LGBTQ+ life in America. The series highlights authentic personal stories brought to life through Burnside’s curious, exploratory lens. As an LGBTQ+ advocate, he guides viewers into the South’s various LGBTQ+ communities, connecting with people of different backgrounds, locations, experiences and points of view.