Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country music: that’s our mission.
This is a space where we can be ourselves: proudly queer and country as hell.
We aim to show the world – and country music culture in particular – that we are a force to be reckoned with. We’re not asking for a seat at the table: we’re building our own table.
What We Do
- We publish this website, with extensive coverage of queer country, folk, and Americana artists, and other issues of interest to country queers.
- We publish a podcast that features in-depth interviews with amazing queer country artists.
- We sell high-quality merch that lets you proclaim your identity as a country queer while supporting our mission.
- We offer memberships that let you support our mission, participate in community discussions, and get other members-only perks.
- We maintain an active presence on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
- We maintain Spotify playlists that are frequently refreshed, for your listening pleasure.
The Country Queer Story (In Brief)
In 2019, Dale Henry Geist found himself working in a digital media job that was professionally challenging but personally unfulfilling. He wanted something more. As a queer fan of Americana, he had long felt left out of the conversation, and figured there must be more folks like him out there. He decided to find out by launching Country Queer.
He was lucky enough to connect with queer country artist Cindy Emch, who helped get the project underway while Geist tended to his day job. Emch had inherited Strange Fire, an online magazine founded by queer country pioneer Kevin James Thornton, who had moved on. Geist acquired the magazine, hired Emch as Country Queer’s first Editor-in-Chief, and put up an Etsy store to sell branded merch.
In early 2020, Emch departed to promote her new album and in the early days of lockdown, Geist was laid off from his day job. He started working on Country Queer full time, and hasn’t looked back.
Through 2020 and the first half of 2021, Country Queer’s contributors were volunteers. Geist realized that this was unsustainable, so he took out a loan, began offering memberships, started paying contributors, and registered Country Queer as an LLC with a double bottom line (responsible both socially and financially.)
In its short life, Country Queer has covered more than 400 artists, shipped merch to 48 states and several foreign countries, garnered praise and influential followers from the music industry, and, most important, given tens of thousands of country queers a sense of belonging.
Dale Henry Geist (he/him)
Founder and Publisher
“Growing up, I never knew a single person who was out,” Geist says of his small-town upbringing. “Between that and the slurs I heard, I decided there must be something really wrong with me.” (Geist identifies as bisexual.)
Prior to founding Country Queer, Geist had a pioneering career in the San Francisco Bay Area at the juncture of music, technology, and media, including stints as staff designer at iconic roots music publication No Depression, co-founder of innovative web app Local Music Vibe, author of interactive music CDs for A&M Records, and producer of big-budget video games for LucasFilm.
Geist has long been obsessed with music: he started writing songs at 12, has gigged, recorded, and produced shows and festivals. As a queer fan of Americana, Geist has keenly felt the lack of visibility and community. He figured there must be others who felt the same way.
“Country Queer has been a golden opportunity to bring together my digital media know-how, my love of country and Americana, and my queer identity, to serve others who are in the same plight I was in.”
Geist now lives in Maine.