Plain Rainbows: LGBTQ Amish and Anabaptist Stories

A Community of Growth

Plain Rainbows is born of the desire to give a voice to Anabaptist and former Anabaptist LGBTQ!


Meet Rev James Schwartz


Rev. James Schwartz is a poet, writer, slam performer, speaker & author. His book THE LITERARY PARTY: GROWING UP GAY AND AMISH IN AMERICA was published by inGroup Press in 2011 + nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Schwartz has also been a PUSHCART PRIZE nominee. Poetry by Schwartz has been published in various journals (SILVER BIRCH PRESS, THE NEW VERSE NEWS, WRITERSRESIST.COM, RIC JOURNAL, HEADLINE POETRY & PRESS, ACROSS THE SOCIAL DISTANCES, TRAIN: A POETRY JOURNAL, OVERGROUND / UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE, ICEFLOE PRESS) + the anthologies: AMONG THE LEAVES: QUEER MALE POETS ON THE MIDWESTERN EXPERIENCE (2012) MILK & HONEY SIREN (2013) WRITING KNIGHTS PRESS 2014 ANTHOLOGY PAGE-A-DAY POETRY ANTHOLOGY 2015 QDA: A QUEER DISABILITY ANTHOLOGY (2015) DANGEROUS SUBMISSIONS (2017) CHALLENGING SUBMISSIONS (2017) #R E S I S T (2017) GRAND SHOWCASE 2018 (2018) HESSLER STREET POETRY ANTHOLOGY (2017) NOT MY PRESIDENT: THE ANTHOLOGY OF DISSENT (2017) LOVEJETS: QUEER MALE POETS ON 200 YEARS OF WALT WHITMAN (2019) POETRY IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS (2020) MARCH 2020: A COVID-19 ANTHOLOGY JUNE 2020: A PANDEMIC ANTHOLOGY BEST OF WRITING KNIGHTS: 2011 - 2015 OMNIBUS ANTHOLOGY (2020) SWEETER VOICES STILL: AN LGBTQ ANTHOLOGY FROM MIDDLE AMERICA (2021) GOOD COP/BAD COP: AN ANTHOLOGY (2021) + ALPINE SUITE (2013), POETRY 4 FOOD 2 (2013), POETRY 4 FOOD 3 (2014), ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE (2014), SECULAR, SATIRICAL & SACRED MEDITATIONS (2016), MICHIGAN MEDITATIONS (2016), PUNATIC (2019), SELECTED POEMS (2019) chapbooks. In 2011 Schwartz joined the Three Rivers Community Players for a production of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, playing a Phantom. He appears in the documentary films THE SEAHORSE + FROM PAHOA WITH LAVA 4. A slam performer, Schwartz has read at various venues including The Zoo Bar, This is Fire! Kukuau Studio, La Hiki Ola kava bar + speaking at EAST HAWAII CSL. Most recently, essays by Schwartz have appeared in RFD MAGAZINE, THE GOOD MEN PROJECT, OUR HAPPY HOURS: LGBT VOICES FROM THE GAY BARS anthology (winner of a Goldie Award) + short story AMISH ROAD TRIP (2014) in JONATHAN: A JOURNAL OF QUEER MALE FICTION & several Amazon Kindle eBook essays / singles (VOLCANO SUITE). He is currently social distancing in Detroit.

Meet Mary Byler

Mary Byler was born Amish. She has an Associates Degree and works full-time. 

Mary has an intense love for nature, photographs and writing. 

Mary enjoys creating things such as Paintings, crafts and  designing and sewing clothes.

On summer days you might find Mary camping, hiking or burning a fire. 

“The Lord is my Shepherd and he knows I’m gay.” 
– Troy Perry

“Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts.”
– Barbara Gittings