Part of our Pride Month Programming




Transgender reporter Samantha Allen’s narrative tour through the surprisingly vibrant queer communities sprouting up in red states, offering a vision of a stronger, more humane America.

In Real Queer America, Allen takes us on a cross-country road-trip stretching all the way from Provo, Utah to the Rio Grande Valley to the Bible Belt to the Deep South. Her motto for the trip: “Something gay every day.” Making pit stops at drag shows, political rallies, and hubs of queer life across the heartland, she introduces us to scores of extraordinary LGBT people working for change, from the first openly transgender mayor in Texas history to the manager of the only queer night club in Bloomington, Indiana, and many more.

Allen will be joined by guests who grew up in areas not traditionally regarded as "queer-friendly" to discuss their experiences—positive and negative—living in red states.

With author & producer Garrard Conley, writer & editor Lucy Diavolo, & comedian & actor Jay Jurden!


Samantha Allen is a GLAAD Award-winning journalist and the author of Love & Estrogen (Amazon Original Stories). She is a senior reporter for The Daily Beast covering LGBT issues and a former Sex + Life reporter for Fusion. She received her Ph.D. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Emory University in 2015 and was the 2013 recipient of the Kinsey Institute’s John Money Fellowship for Scholars of Sexology. She has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, and NPR’s On the Media. She met her wife in a Kinsey Institute elevator–a true queer love story - @SLAWrites

Garrard Conley is the author of the New York Times Best Selling memoir Boy Erased (Penguin 2016), now a major motion picture. Boy Erased was nominated for a Lamdba Literary Award and was featured as a top 2016 nonfiction book by O Magazine, Buzzfeed Books, and Shelf Awareness, among others. It has now been translated in over a dozen languages. Conley is also a producer and creator of the podcast UnErased, which explores the history of conversion therapy in America through interviews, historical documents, and archive materials provided by the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. His work can be found in The New York Times, TIMEVICECNNBuzzFeedThemVirginia Quarterly Review, and The Huffington Post, among other places, and he is currently at work on a novel (Penguin 2020) about queer 18th century lives. He is a member of the PEN/America Foundation and serves on the board of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. - @garodcon

Lucy Diavolo is the News and Politics Editor for Teen Vogue. Prior to this, she helped found the Transfeminine Alliance of Chicago, and played bass in The Just Luckies. She is originally from Ohio.

Jay Jurden is a comedian, writer and actor based in New York. Originally from Mississippi, Jay attended the university of Mississippi, where he received his BA in English & Dramatic Lit and his BFA in Acting, before attending the University of Alabama, where he received his MFA in Acting. Jay regularly performs comedy all over NYC, performing often at Standup NY, Greenwich Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy Club, West Side Comedy Club, and many more! He has written articles for Vulture, Teen Vogue, The New Yorker, and McSweeney's, and has been featured on MTV News and several podcasts, including STAND UP NY LABS. He currently writes for Scruff app's game show "Hosting." He was recently awarded best LGBTQ comic in the 2018 Manhattan Comedy Festival and was the 1st place winner of the 2017 Comedy Mob Smart Aleck Stand Up Comedy Festival. He Was 2018 StandUp NBC finalist. Timeout New York named him one of the "comedians to watch in 2019." - @JayJurden

Monday, June 10
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