Homosexual nation star Patrick Haggerty dies; he was pioneer of LGBTQ music


When Patrick Haggerty was gearing as much as file his very first nation music album, he had a option to make.

He might be the industry-friendly nation star and stay within the closet, or he might use music to make a press release about what it was like being a homosexual man in a deeply discriminatory world.

He selected the latter, and 1973’s “Lavender Nation,” Haggerty’s first album recorded underneath the identical identify, is now broadly thought-about the primary nation album recorded by an out homosexual musician.

Haggerty, an unflappable activist for LGBTQ and socialist causes and married father of two, for years was persona non grata within the music enterprise. “Lavender Nation” was a defiantly queer file, with songs like “Cryin’ These C**ksuckin’ Tears,” throughout a time when few musicians in any style have been comfy popping out as homosexual.

So it was stunning, most of all to Haggerty, when he received his probability in 2014 to re-release that historic album and file one other one, performing with different LGBTQ nation musicians and sharing his story with hundreds of thousands. He grew to become a rustic music star in any case.

“The very factor that sank me within the first place is the very factor that jettisoned me into this place,” he informed CNN earlier this 12 months.

Haggerty, the pioneering septuagenarian nation crooner, died Monday, a number of weeks after he’d had a stroke, stated Brendan Greaves, a detailed pal and file label government. Haggerty was 78.

From obscurity to stardom

Haggerty by no means tried to tamp down or cover his queerness. He was kicked out of the Peace Corps within the ’60s for being homosexual, he informed CNN earlier this 12 months. He discovered household in Seattle’s LGBTQ neighborhood, members of which helped persuade Haggerty, a self-proclaimed “stage hog,” to file an album. He informed Pitchfork in 2014 that his homosexual pals in Seattle have been “who we made it for, and that’s who we performed it to.”

Haggerty wrote “Lavender Nation” as a press release to the music {industry} — he’d refuse to bend to the heteronormative requirements of the occasions, and he definitely wouldn’t try to masks his queerness. “Lavender Nation” was a protest file. He assumed it could be his final.

“Once we made ‘Lavender Nation,’ we weren’t silly,” he informed CNN. “No style was going to take inventory of something that I needed to say.”

Within the a long time between his first and second albums, Haggerty devoted his life to activism. A staunch socialist — he usually known as himself a “screaming Marxist b*tch” — he advocated for HIV/AIDS consciousness, LGBTQ causes and the civil rights of Black Individuals. He had two youngsters together with his husband and retired to a city throughout the Puget Sound, his musical goals lengthy dashed.

“I crammed up my life with every kind of fascinating and interesting issues that have been significant to me that didn’t have something to do with music,” he informed CNN in March.

However in 2013, a file collector bought Haggerty’s file on eBay and shared it with Greaves, who “cold-called” Haggerty and mentioned re-releasing the album on his label, Paradise of Bachelors. Haggerty was suspicious, Greaves remembered — Haggerty, as he informed CNN earlier this 12 months, was largely performing for nursing residence crowds without spending a dime at the moment.

That decision with Greaves was step one to reintroducing Haggerty and Lavender Nation to new listeners, a lot of whom had been hungry for an out homosexual nation star. Paradise of Bachelors would go on to re-release Lavender Nation’s eponymous first album, which was as soon as solely out there by mail order at the back of another newspaper in Seattle.

Inside a matter of months, Haggerty was thrust into an {industry} he lengthy believed had shut him out.

“Lastly, like 35 years of repressed grief about ‘Lavender Nation’ burst ahead and I’m similar to in a puddle of tears,” he informed CNN concerning the day he received the decision from Greaves. “My life modified utterly and without end that day.”

He grew to become a rustic star his means

As extra folks heard “Lavender Nation” and realized Haggerty’s story, his contributions to nation music have been acknowledged and appreciated extra broadly. He even starred in a 2016 documentary brief about his life and legacy, and his music soundtracked an unique ballet carried out by an organization in San Francisco.

He carried out the songs he’d written greater than 40 years earlier with new homosexual nation stars like Orville Peck and Trixie Mattel, who’ve each discovered appreciable success for integrating their identities into their acts.

Peck remembered Haggerty because the “grandfather of queer nation” in an Instagram submit.

“One of many funniest, bravest and kindest souls I’ve ever identified, he pioneered a motion and a message in Nation that was virtually unparalleled,” wrote Peck, together with images of the 2 performing collectively. “A real singular legend.”

Over the past 12 months, Lavender Nation performed reveals throughout the US in help of its second file, “Blackberry Rose,” performing with different LGBTQ nation acts like Paisley Fields, who remembered Haggerty as a “trailblazer, fearless and outspoken.”

Understanding Haggerty modified Greaves’ life, he wrote on the social accounts of his label, and leagues of others. Much more than his music, Greaves informed CNN, the reminiscences of Haggerty rehearsing in his front room, taking part in with Greaves’ son and educating him find out how to make banana cream pie are treasured to him.

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