Country Queers is an ongoing multimedia oral history project documenting the diverse experiences of rural, small town, and country LGBTQ+ folks in the U.S.A.

We are gathering stories from throughout the United States documenting how our experiences of country queerness are similar, and how they differ based on race, class, age, ability, gender identity, immigration status and other parts of our identities.

We believe that LGBTQ+ people live in every rural county across this country, that we have always been here, that our stories have gone untold for far too long, and demand a reality in which we are able not only to survive, but to thrive in the places we love.




Rachel Garringer – Founder & Director


 I founded this project in 2013 out of an intense feeling of frustration with the lack of rural queer visibility, and the extreme sense of isolation I felt as a queer person living back home in Southeastern West Virginia.  Since then I’ve been lucky enough to interview 45 amazing Country Queers in 14 States! If you’d like to know more about the history and intentions for this project please click here.




Volunteer Transcriptionists


Montanna Mills

Montanna Mills



Montanna grew up country and currently resides in Vancouver, Canada. She has a passion for history outside of the ivory tower and is excited to be working on such an exciting project!





Kayden Moore


Kayden sometimes lives in the city but is a country boy at heart. He likes being on his bike, learning about sustainable food systems, getting tattooed, working for social change, and baking pies.






Jocelyn Jessop


Jocelyn lives in New Orleans but misses the mountains every day.





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Izzy Broomfield


Izzy is a country queer from Berea, KY currently living in Whitesburg, KY.




4 replies »

  1. This is so beautiful. I am so THRILLED to know you, have you in my life and have you in West Virginia!

  2. I am a queer/lesbian 29 year old in oregon, moved here from florida 3 years ago. I would love to add to your project as I have experienced country life and city life in both places and have had a very interesting experience with both. I believe in what you are doing, and it excites me to the core that I may be able to hear other stories like mine.

  3. Hi Rachel, I’m Loring. My husband Wil and I live in Oklahoma. He grew up in the city, I grew up on the farm. Coming out was difficult for both of us and our families, but now in our 40’s life is as normal as anyone else’s can be. We eloped to Iowa in 2010 and are accepted by our families as a married couple should be. We’d like to be legally accepted in our state, but that’s another story. We aren’t living on the farm now, but on 2 acres north of Edmond. Our plan is to move back in about 5 years. There’s not a problem with how the people treat us there, I’m one of theirs. If you are from the community and have family there, the entire community will have your back in most small towns. It’s just like family. I might pick on my little brother, but no one else gets away with it. That’s the mentality in small towns, and they look out for their own. Thanks for doing your project, it is much needed. There’s a lot of us out here, and we need folks to know it’s okay to live the life that is best for you. Blessings to you, Loring & Wil

  4. I hope you will include the voices of elder queers who have grown up/are living in the country and can speak to what it was like 30-40 years ago.