Country Queers, a multimedia oral history project documenting the diverse experience of small town and rural LGBTQIA people, was started in 2013 and “born out of a pretty intense personal need to find and connect with other rural and small town queerfolks,” says creator, R. Garringer. A native of southeastern West Virginia from a farming community “waaaaay out in the country, an hour outside a town of 3000 people,” Garringer remembers growing up in the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s and not knowing any out queer people. And when they went away to college were surrounded by people who had “bought into this idea that I couldn’t move home. That there was no way to have West Virginia and my queerness and be safe and be happy.”
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