“Country Boys in the City” by My Gay Banjo


Growing up in rural Virginia in the hometown of Patsy Cline, one way I channeled my queer feelings was by dedicating late-night songs to my best friend girl crush on the local country music station, dropping my voice and saying I was any name but my own. Owen Taylor and Julia Steele Allen of My Gay Banjo are writing the joyful, soulful, unabashed country lyrics that I needed then and that still lift my spirit now: “we were country boys in the city, / making noise and looking pretty, / now I’m sitting here in my hometown, tired and dirty, / singing loud to the night, I want your dirty / hands to hold me tight, and take me on.” For all of you queer folks in small towns across America trying to get through and make do right now, this song goes out to you—with so much love.

-Jenny Johnson

johnson_photo2Jenny Johnson is the author of In Full Velvet forthcoming from Sarabande Books in 2017. Her honors include a 2015 Whiting Award and a 2016-17 Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. She was born in Winchester, VA and teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and at the Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University’s low-residency MFA program. You can find her online at www.jennyjohnsonpoet.com.

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Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

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