Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

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CQ Presents “Queer From Here,” Pt.3: Zack Joseph

By Lauren Tabak & Zack Joseph

Welcome back to Lauren Tabak’s “Queer From Here” series, in which Tabak has photographed some of the faces of Country Queer, continuing today with Nashvillebased singer-songwriter Zack Joseph. Zack has a brand new single out this past Friday, “Time’s Just a Number,” which you can listen to here. Also, be sure to read our interview with the photographer where she discusses the genesis for this series, which she refers to as “…an archive of modern queer identity that explores what it’s like to be queer here & now.”

For more #queerfromhere, click here.

Zack Joseph, 31 • He/Him • Nashville, TN

I’ve spent the majority of my life hiding my gay face from those around me and from myself. I grew up in a religious household and spent many years asking God, WHY ME? I was convinced I could fight to live a “normal life” and became a fanatic Christian at a young age.


A Honky-Tonk of Our Own

In constant fear of being outed, I closed myself off from others and it wasn’t until I discovered art and music that I started to open up. I finally had a way to express myself without being found out by those around me. I could show off a bit and fall back on the classic line, “He’s not gay, he’s just creative.”

When I moved to Nashville, I was over the constant guilt, accepted my fate, but continued to date women. I just couldn’t break down the wall and really “go for it.” I was also trying to break into the music industry in NASHVILLE, there weren’t really any gay artists presenting themselves in country or Americana music yet. I was afraid I would never have a chance at making it in the industry.

I was 24 years old when I released my first album in 2014. I remember meeting with my producers and going over my song lyrics. They were concerned that my character pronouns were too confusing so we went through and redirected my lyrics toward a female love interest. I remember feeling like I was betraying myself but also that it was another great way to hide.

I’m now 31 years old and openly show my gay face to the world and to the music industry. Although my songs are about my own journey to find myself, I aim for them to be all-inclusive so they can relate to anyone’s path of love, sorrow, and self discovery. I think music can bring people together, break down walls, and heal the past. Sure, I still find myself creeping back into my shell from time to time, but I’m so grateful for the time we’re living in where being openly gay in music is not only accepted, but exalted. I can’t wait to see how this journey continues for myself and the industry as a whole.

Photo Credit: Lauren Tabak

Lauren Tabak’s “Queer From Here” series for Country Queer will run on Mondays for the foreseeable future. For more information about Tabak, go here. For more information about Zack Joseph, go here.

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