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an oral history project documenting the diverse experiences of rural, small town, & country LGBTQI folks in the U.S.A. Read more

Hillsboro, WV Nonfiction
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 27, 2014.

an oral history project documenting the diverse experiences of rural, small town, & country LGBTQI folks in the U.S.A.

Hillsboro, WV Nonfiction
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About this project

We've reached our goal!  Thank you!!!  New Stretch Goal : $7,550  The additional $1,000 would cover travel costs for a story-gathering trip to the North East in the fall!  PA, NY, VT, ME, NH, MA, CT, NJ, DE, & MD!!!!

The Short Story:  Country Queers Can Survive and Thrive! is an oral history project documenting the diverse experiences of rural and small town LGBTQI folks in the U.S.A.  The interviews are posted to an interactive story telling website, with full transcriptions, audio excerpts and photos.  When country queer stories have been gathered in every state these interviews and photos will be compiled into a book. Your support will enable me to take this project on the road during the summer of 2014 to collect interviews in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas! (route subject to change).

The Long Story:  To read an in depth statement of the goals and intentions of this project please visit the website.  Since launching this project in July of 2013 I have collected 9 interviews in 7 states on my own time and budget.  In order to collect stories farther from home I need your support.  Your donation will allow me to interview a diverse array of individuals in 10 states who share the identities of being LGBTQI and country, but differ in their experiences of race, class, gender identity, nationality, language, ability, age, and other parts of their identities.  I am in conversation with Southerners on New Ground, the Two Spirit National Cultural Exchange, and the Kansas Queer Youth Network, and have reached out to the International Gay Rodeo Association and the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project to find folks to interview throughout the South and Southwest.

Donations will cover gas, lodging, food, and supplies needed to complete this project (including a camera to take high quality portraits for a future book).  As with all of the interviews collected so far, I am donating my time to interview and transcribe these stories because I think that our understanding of queer experience in the U.S. is greatly weakened by the absence of rural voices.  I will not have time to post the interviews to the blog while travelling, but will post weekly updates with photos and quotes from the interviews to the Country Queers Facebook Page as I travel.

To read interviews or listen to audio excerpts from a few country queers click on their images below or visit the website.

Sam. 20.  Southwest VA:

Elandria.  34.  Knoxville/Powell, TN:

elandria 1

Jonah.  28.  Windham, CT:

jonah 4

Betty, 63 & Dora, 47.  Central TX:

IMG_7319

Risks and challenges

The car could break down, all of my interview subjects could disappear at the last minute, there could be tornadoes, or floods, or all sorts of catastrophes!!! (Oh, don't get me started worrying!)

But...thankfully:
-I have a large network of friends and supporters all over the country
-I have confirmed interviewees in all states on my agenda.
-I am collaborating with Southerners on New Ground, the Two Spirit National Cultural Exchange, and the Kansas Queer Youth Network, and have reached out to the International Gay Rodeo Association and the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project to find folks to interview throughout the South and Southwest.
-Also, (hopefully) I have your support to help me fund this project and find folks off the beaten path to interview! If you now of someone I should interview please get in touch: country.queers.thrive@gmail.com

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FAQ

  • This would suck. If I don't raise at least $6,550, your bank accounts will not be charged, and I make no money...therefore, no amazing country queer stories from the South and Southwest this summer :(

    Last updated:
  • This would be amazing! I'd get to keep all of it, and it would enable me to travel to more states in the future without needing to launch another fundraising campaign!!! NEW GOAL!!! $7,550, that would cover travel to PA, NY, VT, ME, NH, MA, CT, NJ, DE, and MD in the fall!

    Last updated:
  • Please get in touch!!! I plan to gather stories in every state in the U.S. eventually. The more people contact me, the easier it is to spend my free time travelling and gathering stories rather than searching for country queers hiding out in the boonies. I know you're out there. Get in touch! country.queers.thrive@gmail.com

    Last updated:
  • -Gas for a 7,000 mile trip
    -Hotels and camp grounds (budgeted for 1/2 the nights as I'll be staying with friends some)
    -Food for 30 days
    -A Camera to take portraits for a future Country Queers book
    -The costs of printing the t-shirts, purchasing supplies needed to make your rewards, and mailing them to you.
    -The percentage that kickstarter and amazon take of the earnings.

    I aimed high, because I don't want to get stranded, which means: there may be funds left over at the end of this trip (if no disasters arise), which means: I may be able to afford the next trip to the Northeast without another fundraising campaign (maybe. maybe. maybe.)

    Last updated:

Rewards

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    46 backers

    Thank you very much! We'll list you as a supporter on the website (or not, if you're shy).

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    59 backers Limited (41 left of 100)

    Your name listed as a supporter on the website, and a country queers t-shirt (designed by yours truly).

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    15 backers All gone!

    Your name listed on the website as a supporter, a postcard from the road, and a homemade hand printed linoleum block Country Queers tote bag (hand carved and printed by yours truly).

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    4 backers All gone!

    My neighbor and buddy in Kindergarten, Laura Tamea, (who I haven't seen in years) found out about the project and contributed 4 BEAUTIFUL hand made canvas traveler clutch bags, (cloth lined, with zippers!) for me to use as rewards.

    Photo of the bag that comes with this level reward is under update #3!

    To see more of her work check out her Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/JoynerAvenue?page=1

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    Only ships to: United States
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    15 backers Limited (5 left of 20)

    Your name listed on the website as a supporter, a postcard from the road, and an original 5x5 linoleum block print of cowboy boots (hand carved and printed by yours truly).

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    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers

    Your name listed on the website, postcard from the road, AND Rachel will come visit you (or your school, organization, class, gay country bar, etc.) in person with an audio and visual slideshow presentation of country queer stories (I'll be in your state...eventually!).

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (30 days)