Last week my dear friend Riko came back to Boone and helped me start a project that is very dear to me and that I have been thinking about for a long time: Portraits of Queer Appalachia. I met Riko when I was fifteen and all the time I've known him he has been a damn mountain builder, he had to be, it ain't easy to be one of the only openly gay people at Watauga High School. Riko is one of the bravest, most intelligent, and kind humans I have ever known and loved, and I am so happy that he came to visit and gave me that nudge to begin this project. Soon I will be adding his story, in his own words, to go along with the photograph. That is how I would like to format this whole project.
So this is an open call to anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA and lives/has lived/grew up/ passed through Appalachia, I want to hear your stories. Submissions can include a story (fiction/non-fiction), poetry, a sentence, a drawing... anything that has to do with the queer experience in Appalachia, I am especially interested in themes of home. Submissions can be anonymous, but if you are willing to have your photo taken please tell me.
Submissions can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "queer appalachia".