Listen to Elandria talking about the issues facing queer folks nationally, and how they are similar or different from the issues facing rural LGBTQIA people:
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with moving, as long as you’re moving for the right reasons. Like, I’m like, “Hell, everybody should leave!” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with leaving, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with staying. I think you just have to be happy. And I think that, if you want to go be a fashion designer? You need to leave your small town. You got to go! You’re not gonna make it. You gotsta go! You need to go ahead and go somewhere. But if you’re trying to be a farmer than you need to stay, you need to stay home! Right, so that’s where it all comes down to like what are you trying to do with your life?! Like my biggest thing is find your passion. Find people in your life that love you. Like let all the people, even, it doesn’t matter what their identity is, if they are bad for you, let them go. Find friends of all types.”
–Elandria, 34 – Knoxville/Powell, TN – August 11, 2013
Elandria is an organizer and youth advocate in Eastern Tennessee who works at the Highlander Research and Education Center. Elandria talks about growing up in Knoxville and in the small town of Powell, where high school struggles centered more around organizing to get rid of confederate flags than struggling with being accepted as queer. Elandria also talks about intersectional organizing.
Categories: country queers