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Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States Hardcover – March 5, 2019

4.6 out of 5 stars 45 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Real Queer America is a book necessary for anyone in -- or allied with -- the queer community, especially those of us who see the bad news day after day. [Allen is] sharing the beauty of the spaces that LGBTQ+ people have carved out for themselves, and she's giving credit where credit is very much overdue, because it's the queer folk who live and stay in red states -- whether by choice or due to a lack of options -- who have to survive there and work to make them better."―Los Angeles Times

"Samantha Allen's America is filled with buoyant queer people in supposedly red states living their lives with resilience and joy. This moving journey starts out in Utah--but Allen's road ultimately takes the reader to the center of her heart. Surprising, inspiring, and thoughtful."
Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of SHE'S NOT THERE and LONG BLACK VEIL

"A powerful book of memoir and reportage...It is difficult to capture universality in a way that also celebrates uniqueness. Allen does so through the diversity of the individual stories she uplifts, giving any reader an entry point into LGBTQ lives... [She writes] with a vulnerability and humility as approachable and accessible as it is profoundly moving."
New York Times Book Review

"It's kind of like a trans Travels with Charley in Search of America, but without Steinbeck's lightly misogynist depictions of women and meandering, stream of consciousness. As Samantha Allen travels across the country's reddest states and perhaps the most unsafe for queer people, she unearths a humanity that the midwest and south are rarely afforded. Queer people exist everywhere, not just cities, and this book is a fierce testament to that."―Out Magazine

"Allen argues that queerness thrives everywhere, perhaps even more so in states like Indiana, Texas, and Tennessee, precisely because there's still so much advocacy work to do. Allen's openness about her personal story--including growing up Mormon, living an angst-filled double life in Provo, coming out as transgendered, meeting her wife in an elevator at the Kinsey Institute, and undergoing surgery to get a vagina--invites respect. She writes with loving curiosity about other people in the LGBTQ community and blends this with national-level reporting on political and historical LGBTQ issues."
Booklist (Starred Review)

"I love Samantha Allen! Her voice is an essential part of the movement and a new brand of queer hero for these dark times. In the face of the alt-right and crypto fascists, I say- Queeros Assemble!"
Lilly Wachowski, co-writer and co-director of The Matrix trilogy and co-creator of the GLAAD Award w

"In this clever combination of easy travelogue and thoughtful exploration of queerness in America, journalist Allen retraces her transformation from a Mormon missionary in Utah to a transgender woman living happily in rural Florida...Queer readers will nod knowingly at the descriptions of finding gay-friendly hangouts and questioning whether public hand-holding is safe in a new area, and readers without that experience will still enjoy Allen's charming, humorous recounting of the ultimate road trip through rainbow-colored America."
Publishers Weekly

"Real Queer Americais a delight to read...an engrossing journey full of humor, vulnerability, insight, and joy. What results is a beautiful tapestry of, well, the real queer America... Real Queer Americais well-written and well-researched, and it's a blast to read, but perhaps its most essential question is that of how complicit 'blue state' LGBTQ people are in dismissing red states as scary places for queers. The whole world is scary, for queers and for everyone. Perhaps Real Queer Americawill inspire the reader to be more involved in fighting discrimination everywhere."―Rewire

"Samantha Allen doesn't just have her finger on the pulse of queer and trans America--the pulse runs through her fingers and onto the screen and page. I am always amazed at her capacity to get the story, convey the facts, and yet leave no doubt as to what really matters behind the buzzwords and slogans: real people with real lives you'll be grateful to have encountered."
Jay Michaelson, author of GOD VS. GAY?

"In her generous, clear-eyed reporting, Samantha Allen invites us to see ourselves for who we really are: a country of queer possibility. Her work proves these American stories are too powerful to ever be kept in their place."
Melissa Gira Grant, author of PLAYING THE WHORE

About the Author

Samantha Allen is a GLAAD Award-winning journalist and the author of Love & Estrogen (Amazon Original Stories). A former senior reporter for The Daily Beast, she has been published in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Out, among other places, and has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, and NPR's On the Media. She received her Ph.D. in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Emory University in 2015 and was the 2013 recipient of the Kinsey Institute's John Money Fellowship for Scholars of Sexology. She met her wife in a Kinsey Institute elevator -- a true queer love story.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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