Modern music has numerous out-and-proud LGBT icons, but the farther back we travel the harder the gay heroes become to find — as most in the category are lost in underground scenes and subliminal messages.
Not Patrick Haggerty. He’s the crooner who released the first openly gay country music album, 1973’s “Lavender Country.” He’s also the subject of Dan Taberski’s “These C*cksucking Tears,” a finalist in TheWrap’s ShortList Film Festival whose title borrows from a track on the independently produced record.
Sold for $3 apiece and distributed quietly via mail, “Lavender Country” was a musical push against sexual repression, an expression of rage toward an unforgiving heterosexual majority and a lament over the lack of intimacy among gay men despite the era’s rampant promiscuity.
“To me it feels like a Civil War movie, like Denzel Washington in ‘Glory,'” Taberski told TheWrap. “The infantry is running to the front line and you’re like, ‘Why do you want to be in front? You’re going to get nailed!’ That’s [Haggerty]. It’s a recklessness that is so brave it demands your attention.”
“C*cksucking Tears” was recently re-discovered by the indie label Bachelors of Paradise after it was posted to YouTube and gained attention for its potty-mouthed lyrics coupled with a very sincere performance.
“Maybe it’s a little trite to say, but the song works because it’s true,” Taberski said. “It’s so specific, it can’t be anything but true.”
The filmmaker is currently working on an hour-long doc about income inequality, and a to-be-announced narrative series.
Watch the film above. Viewers can also screen the films at any time during the festival at Shortlistfilmfestival.com and vote from Aug. 9-23.