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LGBT Farming

The Faces of LGBT Farming

Queer Farming in Rural America

Lifeline for Gay Farmers

Rainbow Chard Alliance

Fabulous Beekman Boys

Freedom Farms: The Farm Kings

Seedstock: LGBT Farmers Have Hope for the Future

Modern Farmer

Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men From the Rural Midwest

 


Challenges for LGBT Farmers

“I grew up on the family farm, but there’s no place for me on the farm—the future’s not there,” says Ryan Reed, who was raised in Illinois and is now involved with the International Gay Rodeo Association.

“A nonprofit did not renew my contract after two years because of who I am,” says lesbian urban farmer Ari Rosenberg of Philadelphia.

“Farming in general is rural, and in a rural environment, LGBT does not fly,” says Nathan Looney, a transgender urban farmer in Los Angeles.

 



Their voices are among many LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) farmers who strive to be true to themselves—not only in terms of vocation, but also regarding their core selves as expressed through sexual orientation and gender identity. This can be difficult, but a number of organizations are engaged in some serious advocacy work to help LGBTQ farmers live up to and into their truest selves.

 

LINKS:

 

Seedstock: LGBT Farmers Have Hope for the Future
Queer Farming in Rural America

Advocate: New T-Shirt Shows Solidarity with Lesbian Farmers

 


Rural Pride: Federal Govt Holds Summits for Lesbian Farmers

August 2016

The US Department of Agriculture is holding summits to promote the role of lesbian farmers as a part of its “Rural Pride” campaign.

The agency is working with singer and LGBT activist Cyndi Lauper for a “day of conversation” about the struggles of gay and transgender individuals in rural America. The agency says its wants to change the perception of what it means to be a farmer in America away from the “white, rich male.”

 

LINKS:

 

Feds Hold Summit for Lesbian Farmers

USDA Celebrates Lesbian Farmers

NCLR: Rural Pride Campaign

USDA: Rural Pride Campaign and Rural Summit Series

 


Rush Limbaugh Criticizes LGBT Rural Summit

August 2016

Right-wing media attacked the Iowa LGBT Rural Summit as possibly the “dumbest” “waste” of taxpayer money to date. Conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh even suggested the summit was a “scam” by the “Obama regime” to “bust up” conservative voting areas of the country by convincing lesbians to become farmers with government subsidies. Iowa’s summit, which was held on August 18, was the 15th in the nationwide LGBT Rural Summit Series, which aims to share information to protect and strengthen LGBT communities in rural areas.

 

LINKS:

 

Huffington Post: Rush Limbaugh Thinks Lesbian Farmers are Taking Over America

Modern Farmer: Limbaugh Terrified of Lesbian Farmers for Some Reason

Media Matters: LGBT Farmers are Latest Threat to Conservatism

Advocate: New T-Shirt Shows Solidarity with Lesbian Farmers

 


LGBT People Living in Rural Communities

August 2016

Contrary to widely held myths that the LGBT community is largely living in affluent metropolitan areas, studies show a very different and more realistic picture of the LGBT community. For a number of reasons, many people in the LGBT community choose to live, work, and raise their families in the rural communities that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proud to serve.

In fact, according to the Williams Institute, "almost 10% of all same-sex couples in the country live in rural America" and these couples are actually more likely to be families of color and raising children. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force also issued a report finding that these couples are more likely to be low-income and are almost twice as likely to receive public assistance. The transgender community is particularly vulnerable.

 

 

Transgender people, especially transgender people of color, experience disturbingly high rates of poverty across the country. Additional research conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality shows that they are four times as likely to have a household income under $10,000 and twice as likely to be unemployed as non-transgender people. The LGBT community in rural America has a number of particular needs and vulnerabilities that USDA is excited to target and address.


In an effort to elevate the voices of the LGBT community living in rural America, USDA and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, is proud to launch the #RuralPride campaign. The centerpiece of this campaign is a series of day-long summits hosted by USDA, NCLR, and a number of local partners based in rural communities across the country.



These summits will give us a chance to focus on the unique needs of the rural LGBT community, highlight the important federal policy efforts underway to protect this community, and identify next steps to ensure all rural communities have access to the resources they need to thrive.

"We applaud the USDA for celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people living in rural communities across the country with this important series of summits," said Cyndi Lauper, co-founder of the True Colors Fund. "LGBT youth comprise up to 40 percent of our nation's homeless youth population. Those in rural communities face incredibly unique challenges and are such an important and often overlooked part of this conversation. The True Colors Fund is proud to partner with the USDA and NCLR to highlight their stories as a part of the many experiences that LGBT people face in rural America."


 

 

“We are a much more functioning, better department because we represent the entirety of America,” Vilsack said in his keynote address, according to The Cedar Rapids Gazette.  The Department of Agriculture has become “an inclusive department” he added.

The formerly twice-elected Iowa governor described America’s rural gay population as “a community in rural America that needs help.”  “Oftentimes when we think of this community, we think of an urban-centric community but the reality is that there are many who live in rural areas and many of those who live in rural areas are challenged economically,” Vilsack lamented.

“We have this perception that LGBT people leave rural areas and I think that’s not actually true,” Naomi Goldberg, policy director for the Movement Advancement Project, said.  “Breaking the stereotype that LGBT people don’t live outside of cities is really important,” Goldberg said, adding that she believes many gay Iowans are living in rural poverty.

 



Goldberg’s research shows that 96 out of 99 Iowa counties are home to gay couples who are raising children.  Approximately 66,000 of Iowa’s 3 million people identify as gay, lesbian or transgender, organizers of the Iowa LGBT Rural Summit said.

Another speaker at the summit, Drake University employee Mat Russell, was slated to speak about the travails of farming with his husband roughly in the middle of nowhere in Lacona, Iowa (pop: 361).

In the last two years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has sponsored at least 14 summits for rural gay people across America’s fruited plain, according to the Fix.

 

LINK:

 

USDA: Rural Pride Campaign and Rural Summit Series

Queer Farming in Rural America

Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men From the Rural Midwest

Rainbow Chard Alliance

Fabulous Beekman Boys

Freedom Farms: The Farm Kings

Seedstock: LGBT Farmers Have Hope for the Future

Modern Farmer

 


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ALGBTICAL

Association for Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama