J.R. Jamison spends his days in a world of trigger warnings and safe spaces, while his trigger-happy dad, Dave, spends his questioning why Americans have become so sensitive. Yet at the height of the 2016 election, the two decide to put political differences aside and travel together to rural Missouri for Dave’s fifty-five year class reunion. But with the constant backdrop of the Trump vs. Clinton battle at every turn, they are forced to explore one formidable question: Will the trip push them further apart or bring them closer together?
Dave has always accepted his gay son. J.R. must learn if he can accept his conservative-leaning dad. Traveling together through the rural, sun-beaten landscapes of Missouri, the two meet people along the way who challenge their concepts of right and wrong, and together they uncover truths about their family’s past that reveals more than political differences—they discover a lesson on the human condition that lands them on the international pages of The Guardian. Hillbilly Queer is an enduring love story between a dad and son who find that sometimes the differences between us aren’t really that different at all.
“J.R. Jamison has written one of the most humane and challenging memoirs to come out of the Midwest. This is a perfect read to begin talking about all the conflicting, yet connected, issues forcing a reckoning for those who thought they knew what the world was, and who they were in it. Indeed, we are all more than heroes and villains, and Jamison does a great job of showing how and where our humanity gets lost between the two. I’m so glad I let him guide me through the trip.”— Ashley C. Ford, author of “Somebody’s Daughter” and host of the HBO podcast “Lovecraft Country Radio”
“One of those rare books that finds beauty in the irreconcilable. In an age when our politics and our nation can feel broken, Hillbilly Queer shows us the messy glue of love that still holds families together. At turns powerful and vulnerable, J.R. Jamison takes the reader on a journey as profound and moving as the road trip he took with his father at the dawn of the Trump era.”—Samantha Allen, author of “Real Queer America”