Jaime Wyatt On LGBTQ Representation In Country Music; Says Inclusive Palomino Festival Is “The Future”

When musician Jaime Wyatt first found her love for the country music genre, she admitted that she loved it so much that she chose to stay in the closet. However, she realized that she couldn’t be a healthy person in this world if she wasn’t out and didn’t learn to be proud.

Wyatt is one of many musicians – who identify as queer or are allies –  peforming at the inaugural Palomino Festival on July 9 which is set to take place at the Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. It will celebrate progressive artists that fall under the country music umbrella including artists like Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson & Family, Jason Isbell and Orville Peck – someone Wyatt sees as a peer and an inspiration. 

“I have Orville to thank for giving me the courage to come out,” she told GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos in a recent interview. “I was making country records and I was terrified that I couldn't be myself and have any sort of career. So him being himself and out and proud… I am so grateful for him. Wyatt also added that artists like T.J. Osborne and Lily Rose being true to themselves and to country music inspired her.

Wyatt’s love of country music will be in the spotlight come July 9 when she takes the stage at the Palomino Festival. She joins artists that are reshaping the genre and moving it forward. “It's affirming that this is the future and that the country music genre is opening its doors and opening its arms,” said Wyatt. She added that the music is on the alternative side of the coin and has Americana nuances as it moves into the mainstream of pop country.

“It's pretty exciting and it's just proof we've always been here, we've always been queer,” she continued. “We've always had all different kinds of interests. It turns out, we’re totally just stereotypical. So it's just really exciting for me and it just makes my heart full.”

Neon Cross was released in 2020 when it was a very different time in the world. For those of you looking for a follow up project, Wyatt is remaining tight-lipped – but she did drop some hints.“Yes, [I’m] working on the next project – but I can't reveal [anything] today,” she teased. “The world is open now and they received Neon Cross with open arms and that was affirming because we were in the pandemic.

She continued, The last year and a half, I've been able to go out and play for people and it's been a big surprise. Queer people [were] coming from small towns, driving to the big city and confiding in me that they're maybe not totally out at home, but they feel safe at my ship.”

Tickets for Palomino Festival on July 9 at the Brookside at the Rosebowl are available at PalominoPasadena.com