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Veteran Lauren Hough: ‘Leaving Isn’t The Hardest Thing’

Essayist Lauren Hough in 2018.
Karl Poss IV
Vintage Books
Essayist Lauren Hough in 2018.

In our queer nod to Veterans Day, we present Lauren Hough. She grew up in the infamous Christian cult The Family, which her father had joined to dodge the Vietnam War. At 18, Hough fled to the Air Force, where she got anti-lesbian death threats and her car was set ablaze.

The Air Force court-martialed Hough, accusing her of setting her own car on fire. The military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, in place from 1994 to 2011, kept her from citing the homophobic death threats in her defense. Her book of essays, “Leaving Isn’t The Hardest Thing,” details this and other horrors, with scathing critiques on U.S. society tempered with sardonic humor.

On our Veterans Day edition of Out in the Bay, Hough reads from her essays and talks about “life in the margins,” where so many people in the US dwell. After her USAF service, Hough was homeless for a while; incarcerated briefly; and worked as a bouncer, a barista, a bartender and a “cable guy” before becoming a professional writer. Learn more and find links to Hough’s articles and other work on her website,https://laurenhoughauthor.com/.

Please help us keep bringing queer air to your earsOut in the Bay is an independent non-profit production. We receive no funds from podcast platforms nor from radio stations that air Out in the Bay weekly. Your gift will help keep LGBTQ voices and stories coming to you and others who might not be able to give. 

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This episode of Out in the Bay was produced by Kendra Klang and edited by Lusen Mendel.

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