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Book Cover for: Country Queers: A Love Letter, Rae Garringer

Country Queers: A Love Letter

Rae Garringer

Part photo book, part memoir, part oral history project, this volume paints a vivid portrait of queer and trans experiences in rural areas and small towns across the US.

In 2013, Rae Garringer embarked on the Country Queers oral history project with a borrowed audio recorder, a flip phone, and a paper atlas in a Subaru Forester with over 160,000 miles on it. Raised on a sheep farm in southeastern West Virginia, they were motivated by an intense frustration with the lack of rural queer stories and the isolation that comes with that absence. "Queers, in all our forms, have always existed," Garringer writes, "all across this continent since before it was colonized."

After years as a DIY, minimally funded, community-based oral history project, the work now takes a new form in Country Queers: A Love Story--a book of full-color photos and interviews with rural folks from Mississippi to New Mexico and beyond, with Garringer's account as traveler and interviewer woven through the pages. In these intimate conversations, we see how queerness--shaped, as all things are, by race, class, gender, and more--moves in rural and small-town spaces, spotlighting how country queers make sense of their lives through reflections on land, home, community, and belonging. While media-driven myths suggest that big cities are the only places queer folks can find love and community, Country Queers resists that trope by centering rural queer and trans stories of the joys, challenges, monotony, and nuances of their lives, in their own words.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Haymarket Books
  • Publish Date: Oct 8th, 2024
  • Pages: 208
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9798888902929
  • Categories: Gender StudiesLGBTQ+ Studies - GeneralSociology - Rural

About the Author

Garringer, Rae: - Rae Garringer (they/them) is a writer, oral historian, and audio producer who grew up on a sheep farm in southeastern West Virginia, and now lives a few counties away on S'atsoyaha (Yuchi) and Shawandasse Tula (Shawnee) homelands. They are the founder of Country Queers, a multimedia oral history project documenting rural and small town LGBTQIA2S+ experiences since 2013. Their writing has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Southern Cultures, Scalawag Magazine, Appalachian Review, and beyond. When not working with stories, Rae spends a lot of time failing at keeping goats in fences, swimming in the river, and two-stepping around their trailer.