Dearest queer country friends, can you believe that the Gay Ole Opry and Queer Country Quarterly are ten years old?! Come celebrate with me this Thursday, December 9th, at 7:00 pm ET!

The first Gay Ole Opry festival was back on April 7th, 2011 in Brooklyn. After three hundred people showed up to dance and sing and even cry a little bit together, it was clear we needed a more regular event too, and so the first Queer Country Monthly followed at the newly-opened Branded Saloon on July 23, 2011. In 2015, Eli Conley took us to the Bay Area with Queer Country West Coast. The Opry even hit the road, including a big 2016 Southern tour. And since the pandemic we have headed online! All told, more than 100 artists have performed at over 70 festivals and shows.

Our big anniversary party will be streaming this Thursday, December 9th at 7:00 ET as part of the Country Soul Songbook Summit. There will be performances from longtime Opry stars Lindsey Wilson, Juan & the Pines, and Mylo, tons of clips from the archives, and a conversation with special guests Black Opry’s Holly G and Adobe and Teardrop’s Rachel Cholst about building community. Check the facebook invite for more details and to rsvp

You can watch for free at, but I really hope you’ll also register for the whole Country Soul Songbook Summit because omg it is going to be so amazing. Three gorgeous days of music, conversations, and community envisioned and led by BIPOC and LGBTQIA artists! I mean, look at this lineup:

Friends, thank you so much for these last ten years. Thank you for all the singing, two stepping, listening, clapping, laughing, drinking, crying. Thank you for sharing your cash to support the artists and to support fundraisers for grassroots groups like the Trans Justice Funding Project and SONG. For helping out in a million different ways from spreading the word to running the door. For volunteering for Country Music Against White Supremacy and committing to asking hard questions about what transforming country music could look like. For showing up again and again, year after year, with so much love for the music and for each other. Thank you for building this space with me. I hope we can keep working together to make it into what we need. And to make it feel like home.


WHERE: Littlefield, 635 Sackett St, Brooklyn, New York 11217
WHEN: Sunday, July 2nd from 2:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Click here for all the details!

What is country music? Who decides? Who is it for? And what does that have to do with this country?

On Sunday, July 2nd, we’re bringing together some of our favorite queer, trans, and/or poc musicians to ask these questions and share their music for an all-day, all-out extravaganza! There will be DJs and dancing, food trucks, special drinks, and a bake sale to benefit the Trans Justice Funding Project!

Let’s turn this fucked-up holiday inside out and make it into a day full of amazing music to nourish us, inspire our resistance, and help us envision together what another country could be.

Tickets are $10-$20 sliding scale* for the day-long festival. Please pay what you can to support our musicians! Any profits from the day, after all the musicians get paid, will also be donated to TJFP.


Our fabulous host, Heather María Ács

My Gay Banjo

Cactus Rose

Karen & the Sorrows

Ganessa James


Elias Krell with special guest Jim Altieri

The Paisley Fields

Johnell Lawrence

DK & the Joy Machine

Lindsey Wilson & Michael Buckley

Nath Ann Carrera

Yva Las Vegass

AJ Lewis & Friends

Audrey Zee Whitesides

PLUS Nath Ann Carrera will be on double duty as our DJ, spinning sweet country tunes

Photographs by the incomparable Syd London

Trans Justice Funding Project
TJFP is a community-led funding initiative that supports grassroots, trans justice groups run by and for trans people. TJFP centers the leadership of trans people organizing around their experiences with racism, economic injustice, transmisogyny, ableism, immigration, incarceration, and other intersecting oppressions.

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”
—James Baldwin, Another Country

*If you’d like to come but this is not possible for you, please email me and we will get you in. No one ever turned away for lack of cash!











The Gay Ole Opry is hitting the road with The Paisley Fields and Karen & the Sorrows for a Southern tour! More about the shows:

Saturday, 4/23: Harrisonburg, VA
Sunday, 4/24: Durham, NC
Monday, 4/25 Asheville, NC
Tuesday, 4/26 Atlanta, GA
Wednesday, 4/27 Nashville, TN
Thursday, 4/28 Lexington, KY
Friday, 4/29 Johnson City, TN
Saturday, 4/30 Charlottesville, VA

Blue Tailed Skinks
“Skinky” might best word to describe us Blue Tailed Skinks. We’ve been together for almost 15 years and pretty much relate to each other like a family of reptiles. We really love Durm and love doing our part to keep it dirty. We play old time, rock-a-billy, blue grassy blues, and some “where did they get that” (like, for instance, Cajun). And in terms of instrumentation, we’re wild with it: electric bass ukulele, fiddle, kazoo, banjo, mandolin, accordion, acoustic geetar, electric guitar, blues harp, etc. We are Christine Westfall, David Hamill, Ninian Beale, Tony Matthews, Martha Dyer and Sandee Washington.

Lilli Jean
Lilli Jean is an American Roots, Rock ‘n’ Roll musician with a rainbow skew. She’s like a psychedelic Bonnie Raitt. Combining the forces of Blues and Groove into her own framework of intricate original songwriting, Lilli Jean breathes life into her songs with soul and spirit. Her music has been described as “Dolly Parton meets garage rock” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll for people who know what Rock ‘n’ Roll is… but completely original.”

Mawk Chunk
Mawk Chunk originated in 2015 when Amy Fisher and Caroline Stoltzfus got together to sing through the cold winter months. Both are Pennsylvania natives who met in Asheville, NC and who shared a dream of playing alt-country covers and creating a sound of their own. You may catch them singing sweet harmonies and brushing a snare drum on an Asheville street corner downtown.

Emily Backus
Emily Backus is one-half of The Skipperdees, an Americana duo known for their twinsightful songwriting and heartbreaking harmonies. Bandmate/wombmate Catherine is now living her best life in the hills of Virginia, while Emily has made her home in Atlanta. In addition to being mother to the cutest and strangest cat in the world, she teaches music to almost 800 elementary schoolers each week, which brings a constant stream of puzzles and delights! Hear songs at

Indiana Queen
Indiana Queen is an alt country band that resides in Nashville, TN. Fronted by openly queer Kevin Thornton, the band is blazing a new path in a traditionally conservative genre.

Sam Gleaves
Born and raised in Wythe County in southwest Virginia, Appalachian singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Sam Gleaves performs innovative mountain music with a sense of history. In Ain’t We Brothers, his recently released debut record produced by Cathy Fink, Sam writes new songs in the Appalachian tradition, telling stories about love, the home place, working people, and present social issues in the mountains. Peggy Seeger calls Ain’t We Brothers “a stunning first album. I keep very few albums that I am given. This one’s a keeper.” He has toured extensively both as a solo artist and with the Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble, performing at U.S. venues such as Mountain Stage and the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, and abroad in Ireland, England, Canada and Japan. His music has been featured by National Public Radio, Kentucky Educational Television, West Virginia Public Radio, Appalshop’s WMMT FM, KEXP, Exclaim!, The Windy City Times, The Bitter Southerner and Still Journal.

Amythyst Kiah & Her Chest of Glass
Amythyst Kiah & Her Chest of Glass is a blues dance rock project based in Johnson City, TN. This group is comprised of some of the best musicians out of the Tri­Cities area, including Amythyst Kiah, Southern Gothic singer/guitarist/songwriter, and Matthew Martin, Patrick Taylor, Taylor Green, and Andrew Gibbens from the progressive rock band this mountain.

Debra Guy
From Washington DC’s 9:30 Club to the nightclubs and bars of Los Angeles, native Virginian Debra Guy has been sharing her homegrown, authentic songs with listeners from coast to coast. Guy turns heads with her growly voice, and gritty, honest tunes. As a solo artist, Debra Guy won the 2000 Washington Area Music Award Best Alternative Rock album for her self-produced debut album. Guy spent ten years honing her live performance skills with DC’s alternative rock outfit Honeychuck. Recently, Guy has emerged into her hometown singer-songwriter scene of Charlottesville, Virginia, fronting the acoustic rock quartet, Help Me Helen. Drawing inspiration from her life, Guy’s lyrics often provide an element of catharsis for listeners, reaching them on a deeply personal level. Her passion for writing and singing shine through her energetic and captivating performances


This November is a very special Queer Country Monthly. We’re celebrating Humble Tripe’s Record Release Party!

A little more about the party and the record: In celebration of their upcoming release (out October 22nd), Humble Tripe returns to the QCM for a special full length performance of the album. With vocal performances simultaneously evoking that of Neil Young and Mazzy Star, Humble Tripe’s latest collection reflects a journey from delicate to dynamic, resting on the tender storytelling shoulders of front man Shawn Luby, all the while delivering a graceful offering: The Giving.

And for serious, queer country friends, I’ve heard the album and it’s AMAZING. You don’t want to miss this. Plus, the Sorrows and the super-talented Wiley Gaby will be opening. It’s gonna be a great night.

WHEN: Saturday, November 9th, 8:00 pm
WHERE: Branded Saloon, 603 Vanderbilt Avenue at the corner of Bergen St, Brooklyn
DOOR: $5 (but no one ever turned away for lack of funds)

Also, there is always a bucket of free candy for people who like candy.

Hope to see you all soon!


More info:

Humble Tripe
Pushing the boundaries of Folk-Americana, Humble Tripe moves from songwriter to symphony, resulting in a haunting landscape of beautiful swells, dramatic tension and space on their upcoming sophomore album entitled, The Giving.

Your host, Karen & the Sorrows
Brooklyn alt-country band Karen & the Sorrows play “soaring tributes to lost love and… gentle and charming ballads” (Neville Elder, No Depression). Their debut EP Ocean-Born Mary is a four-part ghost story of “allusive, attractive but distantly menacing songs… Country keeps evolving, and Karen & the Sorrows are taking it to a place it’s never been before, a good and creepy one.” (New York Music Daily)

Wiley Gaby
A small-town boy from the swamps of North Florida with a love for Dolly Parton and a fondness for bourbon + boys + buckwilderness.”After Gaby sang a cover of Robyn’s ‘Dancing on My Own,’ which was indeed heartbreaking and desperate—and damn beautiful—all of the yearning and burning sentiment I’d tapped into with Morrissey was suddenly there in Prospect Heights. Except this wasn’t an emo Brit crooner, it was a Floridian transplant singing a Swedish pop song in Brooklyn.” – Gordon West, NEXT MAGAZINE

The Queer Country Monthly is brought to you by Riot Grrrl Ink, the largest queer record label in the world

I swear I didn’t plan to do an all-Dolly-Parton raffle again this year. It’s just that everything good in the world turns out to have a Dolly Parton theme.

Prize #1: Dolly Doll

1. This is not just any Dolly Parton doll. This is an official Dolly Parton doll. Clearly, you NEED this.

Prize #2: Dolly’s Dream


2. There is a lot going on in this “Dolly’s Dream” poster, so you might want to read up a little on your Dolly history to understand it all. That’s why this prize also includes a copy of Dolly’s memoir, My Life and Other Unfinished Business.

Prize #3: Dolly Picks 

Just playing along with some great Dolly records is for amateurs. Though these two albums, Here You Come Again and Porter Wayne and Dolly Rebecca are a good start. But real Dolly fans only use Dolly picks.

Prize #4: Dolly/Mustache Trilogy

Build your Dolly film collection with the Great Mustache Trilogy: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Burt Reynolds mustache), 9 to 5 (Dabney Coleman mustache), and Steel Magnolias (Tom Skerritt mustache).

Prize #5:

Dolly shares all her cooking secrets with you in Dolly’s Dixie Fixin’s. Of course, you will also need this red gingham heart-shaped apron to go with it. Because obviously Dolly would not approve of you cooking her mother’s recipe for Banana Pudding in just anything.

The Opry returns! With so much awesomeness you won’t know what to do with it all! Starting at 8:00 pm sharp, there will be music from Wiley Gaby, Karen & the Sorrows, Lindsey Wilson, Nath Ann Carrera, Julia Read, and, of course, the Opry’s own Bryn Kelly, our host for the evening. Plus, a bakesale to benefit the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. Plus, the second annual Dolly Parton raffle. Plus, Susanna from Big Apple Ranch will give us all a two-stepping lesson and then DJ Andrew will make sure we two-step the night away! And Syd London will be there to get it all on camera, so you know you’ll want to look your best.

AND we’re working on a special queer country community story-telling project that we’re gonna need your help with, so get ready. More details coming soon.

We’re also the opening night of the four-day Americana Pie Festival, so if you’ve been longing for more Brooklyn country music, this is the weekend you’ve been waiting for.

WHEN: Friday, October 5th, doors at 7:00, show starts at 8:00pm sharp!
WHERE: Littlefield, 622 Degraw St bet 3rd & 4th Ave., Brooklyn (directions)
DOOR: $10

The Opry is brought to you by Brooklyn Country and your co-producers Karen & the Sorrows and Riot Grrrl Ink.