Maggie White was Left South's very first customer. We tracked her down in New Orleans for a Q&A about her adventurous childhood, the formation of her social and political views, and why she supports Mississippi Pride.
LS: Where did you grow up, and what's your fondest childhood memory?
MW: I grew up in Oxford, MS. It was amazing. Most of my fondest childhood memories involve the same theme: exploration. Living in a small, safe town afforded us kids an incredible level of freedom. It seemed like every week my friends and I would stumble upon something "wondrous" in the woods by William Faulkner's house – usually some variety of garbage – constantly convinced that we'd made an earth-shattering discovery. It was excellent. I'd go back.
LS: Where else have you lived?
MW: I spent four years at Davidson College, right outside Charlotte, NC (with a semester in London my junior year). I also spent a year in Los Angeles before moving to what feels like my forever home: New Orleans.
LS: What do you do these days?
MW: By day, I work at a job, and it's wonderful. By night, I do improv comedy, and it's also wonderful. Feeling very fulfilled these days. I also have a chubby little wiener dog named Dolly who I adore to an extent that I think maybe makes bystanders uncomfortable.
LS: What experiences have shaped your social and political ideology?
MW: That's tough, because the real answer is "everything; my whole life." If I had to trace it back, though, I'd say it all started with my parents' commitment to respecting the dignity of all people, and making sure my siblings and I did the same. Most of my strong political beliefs revolve around social issues, and I believe that opinions on most of those swing a very particular way when kindness and respect of individuals are truly a person's top priorities. Maybe that's harsh, but it feels that way to me.
LS: Do you consider yourself a southern liberal or a liberal southerner?
MW: I'm sitting here repeating them in my head and trying to come up with a reason that I'd prefer one over the other, but I don't really think I do. I'm equally a southerner and a liberal. Honestly, I just look forward to a day when the combination of the two terms doesn't sound quite so novel.
LS: Why'd you buy a Mississippi Pride shirt?
MW: Unfortunately Mississippi has a reputation for being the worst of the worst in this country when it comes to liberal ideals. One silver lining, though, is that wearing this shirt reminds members of the LGBTQ community that there are folks in Mississippi who love and support them. It's tantamount to saying, "There's nowhere you can go where you will be alone." Anything to help spread that message is something that I'm on board with.
LS: Best New Orleans restaurant?
MW: I'm a bad person to answer this question because I have a pretty unsophisticated palate, but I went to Company Burger recently and it was so good. In addition to having really delicious burgers, they also have a CRAZY sauce selection, which is objectively really important.
LS: How many games will the Saints win this year?
MW: Intensely unqualified to answer this.