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Photo by Michael O. Snyder

Fresh Storylines

“The Queens of Queen City” is photographer Michael Snyder's immersive photodocumentary, nearly a decade in the making, of the drag community of Cumberland, Maryland, in northern Appalachia. Just a few images into it, I was struck by what its premise asked of me, because, by engaging with it and being honest about the surprise that drew me in, I had to confront a reflexive bias: How can drag culture thrive in such a deeply conservative part of the country? This paradox gives the project its magnetic pull, but the dissonance is illusory, and purposefully so, as it mirrors Snyder’s own edification about the region where he grew up. Of course queer communities have claimed space in Appalachia. That’s because it is far more complex and nuanced than we tend to give it credit for being.

Interview and comic by Jess Ruliffson

The Final Act

March 6, 2018

Dr. Thomas A. Andrew served as New Hampshire's Chief Medical Examiner for two decades, retiring in September 2017 amid the growing opioid crisis. Now he's studying to become an ordained deacon in extension ministry to help at-risk youth on the Appalachian Trail.

Photo by Dawn Whitmore

Tent Revival

For three days, thousands of uninsured Americans converge on the Wise County Fairgrounds for the largest pop-up clinic in the country. Most are poor, many are in pain, but all have faith in a level of care that neither the government nor private industry can provide.