I’ve never been, and I feel like that’s a shame because I have no good memories of being queer in Tennessee beside sleeping in bed with and kissing on my gay best friend in high school (who kind of dumped me after I came out as trans) and wondering if I was actually a gay…
I admit to totally being one of those asshole city queers who didn’t even know you could be a gay person in the country (for some reason I also didn’t realize you could be a brown person in the country). I totally bought into this weird country music version of the rural South where everyone was white, straight, Christian, and a Republican. In other words, I thought I didn’t need to know anything else about them. And I’m a Southerner! I can only imagine what people from outside the South think.
When I started dating someone who grew up in rural Louisiana, I was floored to realize that you could be queer (and a POC!) and come from and (in the case of some of her friends, continue to) live in a small town. I had no idea, honestly, none, and I feel really horrible for being insanely prejudiced and ill informed about so many people.
This post also gives me a lot to think about regarding the romanticized “living off the land” fantasies that so many radical folks have. It is really interesting to me that there doesn’t seem to be much of a desire to start a dialogue with people who have grown their own food, raised animals, etc. out of necessity, and not out of an anti-capitalist/anarchist ideology.