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Real Queer America

Real Queer America

LGBT Stories from Red States

A transgender reporter’s narrative tour through the surprisingly vibrant queer communities sprouting up in red states, offering a vision of a stronger, more humane America.

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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Genre: Nonfiction / Social Science / Lgbt Studies

On Sale: March 5th 2019

Price: $27 / $35 (CAD)

Page Count: 320

ISBN-13: 9780316516037

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"Samantha Allen's America is filled with buoyant queer people in supposedly red states living their lives with resilience and joy. This moving journey starts out in Utah--but Allen's road ultimately takes the reader to the center of her heart. Surprising, inspiring, and thoughtful."—Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She's Not There and Long Black Veil
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"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."—Booklist (Starred Review)
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"I love Samantha Allen! Her voice is an essential part of the movement and a new brand of queer hero for these dark times. In the face of the alt-right and crypto fascists, I say- Queeros Assemble!"—Lilly Wachowski, co-writer and co-director of The Matrix trilogy and co-creator of the GLAAD Award winning Netflix series Sense8
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"Samantha Allen doesn't just have her finger on the pulse of queer and trans America--the pulse runs through her fingers and onto the screen and page. I am always amazed at her capacity to get the story, convey the facts, and yet leave no doubt as to what really matters behind the buzzwords and slogans: real people with real lives you'll be grateful to have encountered."
Jay Michaelson, author of God vs. Gay?: The Religious Case for Equality
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"In her generous, clear-eyed reporting, Samantha Allen invites us to see ourselves for who we really are: a country of queer possibility. Her work proves these American stories are too powerful to ever be kept in their place."
Melissa Gira Grant, author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work
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