Patrick Haggerty was a musician and LGBT activist, best known for being the founder of Lavender Country, the first openly gay country music band. Haggerty was born on March 22, 1944, in Washington state, and grew up on a dairy farm in rural Washington.
In 1972, Haggerty formed Lavender Country with the goal of creating music that would speak directly to the experiences of the LGBT community. Their self-titled debut album, released in 1973, was groundbreaking in its explicit portrayal of gay life and love, and remains a landmark in LGBT music history. Lavender Country's music was also politically engaged, addressing issues such as police brutality and the Vietnam War.
Despite the album's significance, Lavender Country's music was largely ignored by mainstream country music outlets, and the band broke up shortly after the album's release. Haggerty went on to become a social worker and activist, working with LGBT youth and people living with HIV/AIDS.
In 2014, Lavender Country was reissued to critical acclaim, and Haggerty has since performed with the band at a number of venues and festivals. In recent years, he has been the subject of a documentary film, "These C*cksucking Tears," which explores his life and the legacy of Lavender Country.
Independent documentary film directed by Dan Taberski (Missing Richard Simmons) and shot by Damon Hoydysh. The movie premiered at SXSW in March 2016 and took home the Best Documentary Short prize. It then screened at a variety of LGBT and general interest film festivals and won the Best Documentary Short prize there as well as at the Seattle International Film Festival and Outfest in Los Angeles.
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