“Farm Family: In Search of Gay Life in Rural America”–a celebration of rural gays

“Farm Family: In Search of Gay Life in Rural America”

A Celebration of Rural Gays

Amos Lassen

We have always known that there are gay people everywhere but how often do we think about our brothers and sisters “in the country”. T. Joe Murray’s new documentary, “Farm Family” takes us to rural America and shows us a different kind of gay life that is very human and very warm (not that city life isn’t).
Now that gay people are having children, more of us are moving out of central cities and into the suburbs and the “gayborhoods” are becoming a thing of the past. I think most of us would have a hard time living on a farm in a state where there are not many of us and we rarely hear the voices of those that live in rural America. It’s a little different for me in Arkansas and living in Little Rock is a rural experience for me after having been raised in New Orleans and having lived in European urban centers. Yet even Little Rock is not like living in places like Bee Branch or Jasper, Arkansas.
Murray, himself, was raised on a dairy farm in the Midwestern United States and he has traveled all across this country to have rural people tell their stories. In Wisconsin we meet a couple who are raising five children that they have adopted and in Minnesota we meet a cattle farmer who competes in a gay rodeo. We spend time with the Radical Faeries in New Mexico and we see the gay pride festivities in Wyoming. The headliners of the film are two former lovers in Pennsylvania who live with no electricity or running water and who face hatred everyday at their home.
Many say they miss city life but are not willing to trade their rural lifestyles for it. I found myself somewhat jealous of there people but I also realize that while it is great for them, I would probably have a hard time living the way they do. It is good to know that they are happy and to see them. Like I said, we hardly think about them but after watching this informative film I will keep them in my thoughts—especially the next time I am in the cities of Marvell and Palestine, Arkansas.

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