A new generation of gay country musicians are turning to a new trend in the arts: bringing a bit of country to the music they make.
With the country artists in the Gay Country Arts & Music Association, or GCAAMA, now having their own studio in San Francisco, gay artists are using the space to create and release their music.
While they’re not all gay country performers, some of the group’s artists are, and GCA AMAs members say the goal is to promote a more inclusive gay country music scene.
“I think there’s a lot of people who would be upset if there were no gays in the country,” said Jason Lopes, a founding member of GCAA.
“But I think there is a big difference between the kind of country music that was being produced in the ’90s and the kind that we’re seeing today.
The country music world is more accepting than ever, so we can’t help but look forward to a more open music scene.”
Gay country music has a long and storied history, and Lopes said he started his career playing country music.
But when his mother died of breast cancer at the age of 36, Lopes moved to Los Angeles to be closer to his family.
He started making music when he was 16, but he says it wasn’t until his early 20s that he became aware of the LGBT community.
Lopes says he’s been inspired by the diversity of his peers and the people in his community, especially gay musicians.
I’m just happy to see that the gay country community is doing so well and so proud of them, he said.
As for what kind of music he’ll make, Lones said it would be country-based, with a focus on the genre’s roots.
“I would definitely make country music, I would love to make country-inspired music,” he said, adding he’s considering creating a hip-hop version of his own music.