“The so-called flyover states have long been an avatar for the real America — small towns, country music, conservatism, casseroles and amber waves of grain. Whiteness,” wrote Tamara Winfrey-Harris in a New York Times opinion piece, Stop Pretending Black Midwesterners Don’t Exist. She could have added “straightness,” if her article was not about politics, but about Gary, Indiana’s Lisa and Rasheida Bennett.
The Bennett’s have been married for 18 years, have 4 children, and 6 grandchildren. They are sharing their midwestern story on the Internet to help others understand that you can have the "American Dream" and an outstanding relationship with Jesus Christ. With more than 6,000 Instagram followers, 2,600 Facebook Likes, and 6,000 followers on their YouTube channel, the Steel City empty nesters are redefining what it means to be a same-sex couple in America’s heartland.
“We have a prenup,” declared Rasheida. Then she added, “and all is says ‘is divorce is not an option.’”
Rasheida grew up in Rochester and Lisa in Gary, a majority Black blue-collar town of 80,000. They had settled in Rochester, but as Lisa’s parents and grandparents grew older, they bought a house in Gary and Lisa took a job that allowed here to live in both cities. “We needed to come back home,” she says about the industrial suburb about 30 minutes from Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago and 60 minutes from former Mayor Buttigieg’s South Bend, both same gender loving mayor of their middle of the country cities.
If a large company picks up the show, they want to keep the production Gary based. “We would like to bring some of the shine back to Gary,” says Lisa, a former associate pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Gary.
In one show they explain that they started the show after asking their children why the neighborhood children hung around their house and if their parents know they were hanging around a same-sex household. My daughter, Lisa told Port Of Harlem, “responded to ours concerns with that ‘is your generation’s hang ups, we have other things to think about.’”