Thompson goes on to describe several lesbian communities established in the Ozark Mountains during the sixties and seventies and offers a substantial account of Eureka Springs's informal status as the "gay capital of the Ozarks." Through this exploration of identity formation, group articulation, political mobilization, and cultural visibility within the context of historical episodes such as the Second World War, the civil rights movement, and the AIDS epidemic, The Un-Natural State contributes not only to our understanding of gay and lesbian history but also to our understanding of the South."It should not have come as a shock to anyone that not all gay people lived in cities," writes Brock Thompson in his eye-opening history of his home state, "The Un-Natural State: Arkansas and the Queer South." While many gay people have flocked to cities, rural Arkansas has developed its own distinct gay identity."There are certain things about southern culture - the closeness to the land, church on Sunday - that so many do not want to give up to be another face in the city.But his widow must also take some responsibility for all the nonsense that is so often written, because she adamantly refuses to take on her husband's detractors.An intensely private woman, she despises the cult of personality that has infested modern politics.Forget classified personals, speed dating, or other Osceola dating sites or chat rooms, you've found the best!Here's where you can meet singles in Paragould, Arkansas.
2012The Un-Natural State is a one-of-a-kind study of gay and lesbian life in Arkansas in the twentieth century, a deft weaving together of Arkansas history, dozens of oral histories, and Brock Thompson's own story.The recent backlash against “religious accommodation” laws in Indiana and Arkansas is evidence of an increasingly bitter confrontation that is dividing the country and threatens to diminish the scope of religious liberty in America.That is the conclusion of a number of scholars and experts who are urging the United States Supreme Court to consider this confrontation when it hears oral argument on April 28 in a potential landmark case involving same-sex marriage.Thompson analyzes the meaning of rural drag shows, including a compelling description of a 1930s seasonal beauty pageant in Wilson, Arkansas, where white men in drag shared the stage with other white men in blackface, a suggestive mingling that went to the core of both racial transgression and sexual disobedience.These small town entertainments put on in churches and schools emerged decades later in gay bars across the state as a lucrative business practice and a larger means of community expression, while in the same period the state's sodomy law was rewritten to condemn sexual acts between those of the same sex in language similar to what was once used to denounce interracial sex.The real Mary Wilson is dramatically different from the dull suburban housewife who was caricatured so ruthlessly during her husband Harold's years of power.