Country music has always been queer…seriously
In certain corners of the queer internet, you can find earnest tributes to the gay cowboys of 90s country music. Clad in Wrangler jeans and Stetson hats, these men smiled on the covers of self-released CDs and sang songs about lost love and casual sex. They played bars, cruises, and the gay rodeo circuit, and they advertised their music in the backs of gay newspapers. Artists like Sid Spencer, Steve Lynn and Charlie Pacheo (otherwise known as the “Castro Cowboy”) may not be household names, but they were pioneers in an era when country music was synonymous with (heterosexual) Christian values, long before figures like Orville Peck and Lil Nas X made the queer cowboy aesthetic a marketable force.