Semi Queer

Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers

By Anne Balay

232 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 2 drawings, 25 halftones, appends., bibl., index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4709-8
    Published: September 2018
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-5903-9
    Published: February 2020
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-4710-4
    Published: August 2018
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-5609-8
    Published: August 2018

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Awards & distinctions

Finalist, Lambda Literary Award, LGBTQ Studies

Long-haul trucking is linked to almost every industry in America, yet somehow the working-class drivers behind big rigs remain largely hidden from public view. Gritty, inspiring, and often devastating oral histories of gay, transsexual, and minority truck drivers allow award-winning author Anne Balay to shed new light on the harsh realities of truckers' lives behind the wheel. A licensed commercial truck driver herself, Balay discovers that, for people routinely subjected to prejudice, hatred, and violence in their hometowns and in the job market, trucking can provide an opportunity for safety, welcome isolation, and a chance to be themselves--even as the low-wage work is fraught with tightening regulations, constant surveillance, danger, and exploitation. The narratives of minority and queer truckers underscore the working-class struggle to earn a living while preserving one's safety, dignity, and selfhood.

Through the voices of drivers from marginalized communities who spend eleven- to fourteen-hour days hauling America's commodities in treacherous weather and across mountain passes, Semi Queer reveals the stark differences between the trucking industry's crushing labor practices and the perseverance of its most at-risk workers.

About the Author

Anne Balay is winner of the Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Award. She is an Independent Scholar living in Saint Louis and is the author of Steel Closets.
For more information about Anne Balay, visit the Author Page.

Multimedia & Links

Balay talks to Adrian King for the New Books Network podcast. (6/3/2019, running time 56:01).