• Real Queer America

  • LGBT Stories from Red States
  • By: Samantha Allen
  • Narrated by: Samantha Allen
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (244 ratings)

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Real Queer America  By  cover art

Real Queer America

By: Samantha Allen
Narrated by: Samantha Allen
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Publisher's summary

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.

©2019 Samantha Allen (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"Real Queer America is a book necessary for anyone in—or allied with—the queer community, especially those of us who see the bad news day after day. [Allen is] sharing the beauty of the spaces that LGBTQ+ people have carved out for themselves, and she's giving credit where credit is very much overdue, because it's the queer folk who live and stay in red states—whether by choice or due to a lack of options—who have to survive there and work to make them better."—Los Angeles Times

"A powerful book of memoir and reportage...It is difficult to capture universality in a way that also celebrates uniqueness. Allen does so through the diversity of the individual stories she uplifts, giving any reader an entry point into LGBTQ lives... [She writes] with a vulnerability and humility as approachable and accessible as it is profoundly moving."—New York Times Book Review

"Allen's award-winning work as an LGBT journalist for platforms like Fusion and The Daily Beast is both radically empathetic and comprehensively analytical. This is a balance she has upheld admirably in Real Queer America, an exploration of queer communities in conservative parts of the country-communities that are often overlooked in conversations about what it means to be queer, American, or both. Use this title to help you chart the course of your next cross-country road trip."—Harper's Bazaar

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