Having grown up in the Midwest, I too expected a more negative reaction to my coming out process than I actually received. For the most part, people were neutral to the idea. I think the primary reason is that conservative folks, being generally independent-minded, are for the most part not concerned with how other people live their lives. They just want to be left alone, so they understand if you do as well.
The other factor is that people respond differently to concepts than they do to other people. They have a picture in their head of how certain types of people look and behave, and they’re usually taken aback when the reality doesn’t match that expectation. Visibility is the best advocacy, however uncomfortable it makes us. So I’m really glad that you’re putting yourself out there with these articles and sharing your experiences.