Leslie Criss is a lesbian woman who grew up in Grenada, MS. She is one of two children and grew up with her parents, around the corner from her paternal grandmother. Leslie is the wife of Cheryl Sproles. Leslie went to Mississippi College, studied English, and moved to Vicksburg, MS after college, where she began a career in newspaper journalism. Criss did not come out of the closet until she was 39 years old, by writing a letter to her pastor at the Episcopal Church in Tupelo, where she was living at the time. Although she had many gay friends throughout her life, she never had considered that she was a lesbian until she was relatively old. Leslie will soon retire from the Tupelo Daily Journal.
Criss, Leslie and Schultz, David Hooper, "Criss, Leslie" (2019). Queer Mississippi Oral History Project. 4.