Written by: Kara Kundert
We here in Bluegrass Pride are blessed to be based in a region that is known worldwide as a beacon of gay pride. For as long as Pride has existed, it has had a home in San Francisco. So today we'd like to share with you some of the amazing advocacy work that's being done by and for the LGBT community in areas less progressive than the Bay Area. It can be easy for us in and around San Francisco to oversimplify the experience of LGBT people outside of metropolitan areas -- to assume that all rural, Midwestern, and/or Southern LGBT people are just biding their time until they can move to a place like San Francisco or New York City. But that's not fair to those areas nor the people that live there. While some gay folks in rural America do want to leave and live somewhere more metropolitan, many love the places they call home and are working to infuse their regions with love, acceptance, and pride. The unique intersection of rural and queer identities is underexamined in our cultural narrative, and its acceptance and celebration are fundamental to the mission of Bluegrass Pride.
First, let's look at this short documentary on LGBT pride in rural America, featuring Julianna Gonen of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the NCLR's Rural Pride Campaign.
We are also proud to highlight the work of Queer Appalachia. Their zine, titled Electric Dirt, celebrates the voices and faces of LGBT folks living in Appalachia and the South -- challenging the stereotypes that we hold of what being LGBT looks like. Their core mission is to provide a venue for underrepresented groups to represent themselves. In particular, they work to highlight queer people of color, a group often overlooked in urban LGBT advocacy. They also offer micro-grants to support and uplift the local queer folks to pursue their own goals and create their own beautiful communities. Order your copy of Electric Dirt today!