Photo: Missvain

Pioneering Queer Country Singer Patrick Haggerty: Dead At 78

On Monday (10.31,) Patrick Haggerty, the leader of the pioneering queer country-folk musical project Lavender Country, passed away from complications related to a stroke he suffered in September. He was 78.

Born September 27, 1944, Haggerty grew up in a large family in Port Angeles, Washington, the son of a dairy farmer and homemaker. Mentioning in interviews that both his parents were accepting of his sexuality, in 1966 he was discharged from the Peace Corps for being gay. Patrick later moved to Seattle, where he became involved with gay rights activism including the Gay Liberation Front.

Lavender Country was formed in 1972 with Haggerty, Michael Carr, Eve Morris, and Robert Hammerstrom. While their self-titled debut LP was released in 1973 and limited to one thousand copies, it was radical in the way it fearlessly chronicled queer experiences in country-flavored songs like “Cryin’ These Cocksucking Tears,” “Come Out Singing,” and “Back in the Closet Again.”

During his life Haggerty did work outside of music, including running for political office and leading activism around gay rights and AIDS awareness.

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Missvain