The debut, self-titled album from Patrick Haggerty and his country group, Lavender Country, waited in obscurity for 40 years before finding its moment. A 2014 reissue brought Haggerty and his heartfelt songs about being an openly gay man in rural America back into the spotlight. For a new generation of queer country musicians, it was an affirming discovery, described by one “like finding a bit of lost history … that makes everything fall into place.”

Beyond his art, Haggerty made a point of building relationships with these musicians, sharing wisdom or inviting them to tour and play with Lavender Country. Haggerty passed away in late 2022 at the age of 78. Graphic Journalist Nhatt Nichols looks back on his influence and shares the story of some of those younger musicians who are now carrying on the tradition Haggerty started.

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