Audiences will have a chance to engage with a pioneer in both the LBGTQ and country music communities when Peninsula College welcomes musician Patrick Haggerty, lead singer and songwriter for the band Lavender Country, during two events on October 11.
A Clallam County native, Haggerty grew up on a farm outside of Port Angeles, WA. He attended Port Angeles High School and later went on to graduate from Peninsula College in 1964 along with his mother. His father, who realized Haggerty was gay before he did, taught him to never sneak around, to never be ashamed of who he was.
"He was a saint," Haggerty says of his father, who died when he was a teenager. "I didn't see it that way. I just thought he was a dad who was fair and who loved his kid. I didn't understand all the terror that other gay men, especially in the country, were subjected to in the ’50s. I thought all dads treated their sissy kid the way my dad treated me."
Haggerty learned how to play guitar when he was a teenager and thought he might become a movie star or a country singer. After Martin Luther King, Jr. marched in Selma, he decided to become an activist instead. Haggerty joined the Peace Corps, and was discharged after it was discovered he was gay. He came out after the Stonewall riots a few years later, moved to Seattle, and formed Lavender Country. Its self-titled debut, released in 1973, was funded by donations from the city's then-nascent gay community. This album is generally acknowledged as being the first openly gay country music album.
Lavender Country and Haggerty have since been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and routinely play shows across America. The band headlined at AmericanaFest in Nashville this September as part of their Queer Roots showcase.
Haggerty will be making two appearances at Peninsula College on October 11. The first will be at the 12:30 pm Studium Generale in the Little Theater where the audience will screen his documentary, These C*ck Sucking Tears, followed by a question answer session. An evening screening of the documentary will show at 7:00 pm in Maier Performance Hall and will be followed by a performance from Lavender Country. The evening event is cosponsored by the Magic of Cinema, the Rainbow Alliance and the Peninsula College Alumni Association.
The events are free and open to the public.
For more information contact Tim Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org .