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Real queer America : LGBT stories from red states
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Ten years ago, Samantha Allen was a suit-and-tie-wearing Mormon missionary. Now she's a senior Daily Beast reporter happily married to another woman. A lot in her life has changed, but what hasn't changed is her deep love of Red State America, and of queer people who stay in so-called "flyover country" rather than moving to the liberal coasts.

In Real Queer America , Allen takes us on a cross-country road-trip stretching all the way from Provo, Utah to the Rio Grande Valley to the Bible Belt to the Deep South. Her motto for the trip: "Something gay every day." Making pit stops at drag shows, political rallies, and hubs of queer life across the heartland, she introduces us to scores of extraordinary LGBT people working for change, from the first openly transgender mayor in Texas history to the manager of the only queer night club in Bloomington, Indiana, and many more.

Capturing profound cultural shifts underway in unexpected places and revealing a national network of chosen family fighting for a better world, Real Queer America is a treasure trove of uplifting stories and a much-needed source of hope and inspiration in these divided times.

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Booklist Review
Allen (Love & Estrogen, 2018) chronicles a six-week road trip she took in the summer of 2017, visiting so-called red states to document their vibrant queer communities. She seeks to challenge the narrative that queer people flee red states for the bicoastal blue bastions. In straightforward and readable prose, Allen argues that queerness thrives everywhere, perhaps even more so in states like Indiana, Texas, and Tennessee, precisely because there's still so much advocacy work to do. Allen's openness about her personal story including growing up Mormon, living an angst-filled double life in Provo, coming out as transgendered, meeting her wife in an elevator at the Kinsey Institute, and undergoing surgery to get a vagina invites respect. She writes with loving curiosity about other people in the LGBTQ community and blends this with national-level reporting on political and historical LGBTQ issues. In Texas, Allen attends a rally protesting Texas' SB 3 bathroom bill, an attempt to restrict use of bathrooms to birth-certificate gender markers intensely relevant, as Allen must navigate public restrooms throughout her trip. Also focusing on the concept of place, ""queer world-making,"" Allen claims cafés, bars, community centers, and even Utah's hiking trails as part of red-state queerness.--Emily Dziuban Copyright 2019 Booklist
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Table of Contents
Introduction: Queer in Trump's Americap. 3
Chapter 1Seeing Redp. 16
Chapter 2Prodigal Daughterp. 42
Chapter 3Texas Outrageousp. 92
Chapter 4Boo-mingtonp. 148
Chapter 5Not the Family That You're Inp. 191
Chapter 6Crossroadsp. 230
Chapter 7Going Homep. 266
Epilogue: The Bright Road Aheadp. 295
Acknowledgmentsp. 305
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