The struggles of LGBT country artists takes centre stage in Three Chords and a Lie – a documentary centred on rising star Brandon Stansell. Centred on him returning to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a hometown concert, the documentary looks like an engaging glimpse into a sadly still homophobic genre of music. The official synopsis notes:
“A decade after being ostracized for coming out to his strict, Southern Baptist family, rising country star Brandon Stansell is going home. This is his journey back: to Chattanooga where he grew up and learned to love country music; to the family he’s been estranged from for ten years; and to the people and places that fuel so much of the beauty, and pain in his songs. These songs have seen him begin to make his mark in an industry that is famously resistant to LGBTQ artists. We follow him as he takes an album of new material on the road where, in an act of healing and reconciliation, he invites his family to hear him perform for the very first time. The only question is… will they come?“
Thankfully more openly gay country artists are emerging with the likes of Brandon, Orville Peck, Cameron Hawthorn, and Ty Herndon working within the industry – and more vocal support from straight country stars in recent years. Yet much work still needs to be done to tackle homophobia in the world of country music – from concerning right wing fans/artists to homophobia from record labels.
Brandon’s EP Hurt People which features the recently released duet with country starlet Cam is available from July 10th. You can pre-order the EP here.