On Saturday night (June 12), queer country, Americana, and roots music artists will gather together, virtually speaking, to celebrate their work and reclaim the space as their own. The upcoming The Future is Queer Country Showcase (grab tickets here) boasts a gamut-running lineup—from such icons as Lavender Country and Jbird McLaughlin to touring warriors like Amythyst Kiah (known for her work in Our Native Daughters). The roster rounds out with Delila Black, Cindy Emch, and Shawna Virago. The show kicks off at 8pm EST.
“Culturally, we tend to get so stuck in polarities and not see the ways that we can all come together. This show gives a voice to the LGBTQ+ community, which so often feels shut out of country music,” show curator Emch shares with American Songwriter. “It gives a voice to progressive and intersectional country music that tells stories for all of us. And just maybe —due to the online reach of the National Queer Arts Festival this year—it might help someone out there in the world who is struggling feel less alone, and help them know that this music, this community, we’re here for them too.”
Black, who released her first record called Comin’ Around the Mountain in 2017, shares her thoughts. “[I hope] this event helps to shift the country music industry narrative that for many years has monopolized the genre by excluding LGBTQ+ and BIPOC artists. I hope to do my part in helping to make country music more inclusive and more fun.”
The Future is Queer Country Showcase is part of the 24th Annual National Queer Arts Festival, founded in 1998. Since its inception, it has been a beacon of queer celebration throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and featured more than 2,300 LGBTQ+ artists across disciplines, including visual arts and exhibits.
Outside of showing up support through such initiatives, Lavender Country’s lead singer/songwriter Patrick Haggerty shares simple advice about what you can do: “Demonstrate, raise hell, don’t shut up, tell your mom, chalk it on the sidewalk. Get involved in all human rights struggles. PLAY OUR MUSIC EVERYWHERE.”