Someone originally from one of these states: South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and a scarce few parts of Florida. You can not become a Southerner, you must be "Natural Born." Being a Southerner entails being appropriated to the best food, music, lifestyle, and attitudes in the world. There is nothing that can't be sorted out between two proper Southern gentlemen. "Southerner" is not to be associated with redneck or hillbilly, as these are terms for white trash and can be found anywhere in the country, not limited to the south. If you are in fact lucky enough to have a true Southerner as a friend, you will have at least one friend for the rest of your life. All Southerners are not "country," as it were, but country is for more accurate than "redneck" as country just means, from a rural area.
Being a proper Southerner myself, I find it inescapably vexing to be considered in the same league as a redneck.