Podcast alert! With the recent surge in research on Trans oral history, different kinds of projects are beginning to emerge as well. As covered in an earlier blogpost, Transcripts seeks to share the different trans narratives in the city of Minnesota. Quite similar to Transcripts, this week we have Country Queers, which, on a fundamental level, shares the same goal: putting an emphasis on queer history to make up for the lack of research in it. However, Country Queers is unique given that this podcast highlights the histories of queer people living in rural areas.
Being from a metropolitan area myself, I’m aware of how easily rural life can be overlooked or completely forgotten about. Given the hustle and bustle of the city in addition to smaller subcultures within multiple city communities, we often forget how the trans experience might differ in a rural setting in comparison to the metropolitan. That is why Country Queers is an oral history project that brings something new to the table, something new to contemplate. It questions and considers how geographical setting can really impact not just any identity but the queer one specifically. Rae Garringer is the founder of this project which began in 2013, “out of an intense frustration with the lack of easily accessible rural queer stories at the time, and a sense of isolation from queer community after having moved back home to rural West Virginia.” Existing while being queer does not exclusively take place within the city and Garringer demonstrates that by bringing together a myriad of rural queers across 15 states.
This podcast opens up the doors for others to learn about the different types of experiences that queer people have while living in rural settings. Moreover, Garringer does not focus primarily on cis gay people but includes other aspects of the queer community like trans folks. Thus, this podcast reasserts the importance of not viewing rural communities as a monolith, bringing in various queer experiences to express the plurality of being queer in the country.
Country Queers podcast can be found here