Reading up on Lavender Country in Wikipedia I was surprised to learn that the (now defunct) Journal of Country Music had an article on gay country musicians in 2000. It’s not available online, but I do have access to a library that has the specific issue (v.21 no.1), so I’ll be looking that up.
I’m a little surprised that Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” isn’t mentioned. While not technically gay it’s always seemed to me to be addressing society’s perspective on gender. It even seems to have an “it gets better” theme. It’s not straightforwardly LGBT-positive, but it’s better than Billy Briggs’ “The Sissy Song”, which the author saw fit to include in an article on “queer country”.
MY FAVORITE PART IS THE SUBTLETY! IT IS SO GENTLE AND EASY TO MISS, LIKE A FREIGHT TRAIN.
Hey, where the hell was all this stuff when I was routinely getting hassled for being queer by all-hat-no-cattle-cowboys? This is how I felt when I found cowboy-themed Tom of Finland art a few years too late.
Let’s not forget the great Rod Hart’s CB SAVAGE, which on first listen sounds like homophobic garbage, but is in actuality a pretty biting satire on anti-gay attitudes.
Used to play Two Nice Girls’ “I Spent My Last Ten Dollars (On Birth Control And Beer)” all the time in college. What a great song.
I have always appreciated Willie Nelson’s contribution to the genre, Cowboys are Frequently Secretly (Fond of Each Other)
The Sons of the Pioneers have a song, Wind, in which a cowboy pines for a faraway lover, that I think would fit into this playlist. He’s sending his longings along on the breeze, and throughout the lyrics, there’s a conflation of the “you” to whom he sings and the “he”, of the wind that carries his messages:
Wonder where he goes,
Darlin can you hear me,
Something that he knows,
Seems to bring you near me,
Thought I heard you whisper in the sighing of the wind.
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