queer country? yes. queer country.
When I was a kid, classic rock was the thing in my house. In the house, in the car, it was everywhere. At the beginning of every song I’d test my mom “who plays this this song?” And she always knew. She ALWAYS knew. I was super impressed by that. When I was around 7 or 8, my mom met the guy who’d eventually become my step dad. He was a country guy. There was a pretty immediate shift in the music that was played in the car and around my house. From there it was mainstream country only. I was a little weary at first. My mom and I had a connection over classic rock. I don’t know that I even particularly loved the songs, but they were my mom and I’s thing. It was a thing we had. And it just sort of went away all the sudden. But like also, Garth Brooks is awesome, so I bought in. I went along with it. As I got older I got into Metal, and eventually emo and hardcore and indie stuff, and I stopped listening to country. I also sort of started to pick up on the stereotypes about the music and the people who listen to it.
And so I still don’t remember exactly how I ran across it, but I found an article on the website bandcamp, which is a spot for independent musicians to post and sell their music. There was an article about this thing called the Queer Country Quarterly. I was super intrigued. Being a midwestern suburban white kid, queer and country were things that absolutely did not go together for me. I knew this was a story I wanted to tell. And so I got on a plane, went to New York, and I found Karen Pittelman. She fronts a band called Karen and the Sorrows, and she organizes Queer Country Quarterly, and their bigger extravaganza, the Gay Ole Opry.
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