Growing Up Queer in the South

In hopes to bring diversity and safe conversation to a predominantly heterosexual, white, cisgender university, Parks McAllister proposed the idea of Growing up Queer in the South to the director of the gallery he was interning at in the spring of 2019. The show was welcomed by the chair of the department, later taken and given to a different individual to curate. McAllister had a difficult time with the idea of someone else curating a show that was so deeply emotional for him. A year into the planning (with little to no coordination with McAllister), the show was cancelled due to COVID-19. Now, two years later, Parks McAllister is curating this exhibition the way it was intended.

Art has acted as a source of healing for McAllister through his experiences growing up Queer in a small, southern, conservative town in North Carolina. Feeling judged, unwelcomed, and confused, he turned to art to explore his feelings and identity. 

Growing Up Queer in the South is about the experiences of queer folk that have grown up in the American South. This exhibition will take place in the back of Parks McAllister's Art Truck, brick and mortar locations, and an online gallery space in June 2021 around North Carolina and beyond (specific dates and locations TBA).

50% of all donations will be donated to Time Out Youth, an organization based in Charlotte, North Carolina offering queer youth (and beyond) a safe space for advocacy, opportunity and personal growth. The other 50% will go directly to funding for this project. Your support is greatly appreciated.


Application open to queer individuals 18 years or older, who have spent at least a portion of their lives living in/growing up in the American South. If accepted, artist is responsible for shipping their own artwork(s). 

Email submissions to with "Queer Show - "(LAST NAME)" as the subject line.


Submissions are to include high resolution images of the work saved as (LAST NAME-01, etc.), title, date, size, medium, a brief description of the work and its inspiration, and a brief artist bio/statement (including age and location). Final press images and statements will be required upon acceptance.

No limit to size or medium of work.

No more than 5 works may be submitted (clarify if work is a series).



Below are links and brief descriptions of organizations and other resources for queer folk.

Time Out Youth (Charlotte, NC) - Time Out Youth Center offers support, advocacy, and opportunities for personal development and social interaction to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth ages 11-20.

GLAAD - As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change.

Blue Ridge Pride (Asheville, NC) - To promote equality, safety, and quality of life for western North Carolina’s LGBTQ and allied communities, working as a united community through advocacy, celebration, education and service.

The Trevor Project - The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.

The Trevor Project's Guide to Being an Ally to Trans and Nonbinary Youth

The Trevor Lifeline - 1-866-488-7386

CDC LGBTQ Youth Resources

Questions or Suggestions

 © 2021 by Gallery McAllister

 © 2021 by Parks McAllister