By Dale Henry Geist
Born in the middle of WWII, raised on a farm in rural Washington State, and a country queer down to his lavender-booted feet from his first breath to his last, we salute the great Patrick Haggerty, force behind the revolutionary Lavender Country project, as we mourn his passing today at age 78.
Patrick wrote, sang, and produced “Lavender Country” in 1973, a honky-tonkin’ delight chock-full of brilliant wordplay and openly gay and feminist themes. It is indisputably the first queer country album, by years, and it’s nothing short of revolutionary.
We don’t know the details of Patrick’s death, but we do know that he suffered a stroke weeks ago and had been ill. His influence on our work is immeasurable, his bootprint gargantuan, his talent fathomless, his vision all-embracing, and his heart as big and warm as the sun itself.
The pieces we published on Patrick are among my favorite to have graced these pages. Here are a few to remember him by – or get to know him for the first time.