It Won t Get Better Until We Make it Better

Author: Ashton Lee Harding
Publisher:
ISBN:
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With the ultimate goal of illustrating the ways that queer youth employ change and act as agents of self-representation, this project examines the relationship between the It Gets Better Project, a queer adult project focused upon 'bettering' the lives of their younger generation, and the Make it Better Project created in response by queer youth. This thesis addresses the following questions: How do adult conceptualizations of queer youth as vulnerable victims operate within discourses that employ queer youth as agents of change? In what ways do queer youth grapple with such conceptualizations? Furthermore, how might queer youth actively resist adult narratives of risk, vulnerability, and surveillance? Seeking to not only examine the ways in which queer youth negotiate adult narratives of adolescent risk and vulnerability, this project is organized to highlight the ways in which queer youth understand and experience their own representational and performative narratives, particularly when performed in response to adult narratives. In examination of the "It Gets Better: Dan and Terry" (2010a) and "It Gets Better: President Barack Obama" (2010c) vlogs of the It Gets Better Project, this thesis seeks to uncover the ways that assimilationist goals of inclusion, tolerance, and equality impact the intelligibility of queer youth. As a means for which to explore the possible resistance employed to counter such silencing mechanisms, the examination turns to three youth-produced vlogs of the Make it Better Project. An additional intent of the focus on the "LGBTQ Youth Speak Out", "Make it Better Project" and "Make it Better Project - You Can Make it Better Now!" vlogs is to construct a space to analyze the complex and fluid dynamics of queer youth communities. With focus given to the various mechanisms employed by the adult and youth performers of these particular vlog-narratives, this project constructs an interdisciplinary framework of new social movement theory, new online media studies, queer theory, quare (queer of color) studies, feminist sociolinguistics, and critical youth studies as a means to position queer youth voices at the forefront of discussion. With the goal of continuing research that represents queer youth as agents of their own experiences, bodies, lives, and identities, it is my hope that the framework provided by this examination will inspire future work that highlights and centers the voices of queer youth.

Beyond Magenta

Author: Susan Kuklin
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 0763656119
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Shares insights into the teen transgender experience, tracing six individual's emotional and physical journey as it was shaped by family dynamics, living situations, and the transition each teen made during the personal journey.

Out in the Country

Author: Mary L. Gray
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814732205
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Winner of the 2009 Ruth Benedict Prize for Outstanding Monograph from the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists Winner of the 2010 Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociological Association, Sociology of Sexualities Section Winner of the 2010 Congress Inaugural Qualitative Inquiry Book Award Honorable Mention From Wal-Mart drag parties to renegade Homemaker’s Clubs, Out in the Country offers an unprecedented contemporary account of the lives of today’s rural queer youth. Mary L. Gray maps out the experiences of young people living in small towns across rural Kentucky and along its desolate Appalachian borders, providing a fascinating and often surprising look at the contours of gay life beyond the big city. Gray illustrates that, against a backdrop of an increasingly impoverished and privatized rural America, LGBT youth and their allies visibly—and often vibrantly—work the boundaries of the public spaces available to them, whether in their high schools, public libraries, town hall meetings, churches, or through websites. This important book shows that, in addition to the spaces of Main Street, rural LGBT youth explore and carve out online spaces to fashion their emerging queer identities. Their triumphs and travails defy clear distinctions often drawn between online and offline experiences of identity, fundamentally redefining our understanding of the term ‘queer visibility’ and its political stakes. Gray combines ethnographic insight with incisive cultural critique, engaging with some of the biggest issues facing both queer studies and media scholarship. Out in the Country is a timely and groundbreaking study of sexuality and gender, new media, youth culture, and the meaning of identity and social movements in a digital age.

Speaking OUT

Author:
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 1629630411
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A photographic essay that explores a wide spectrum of experiences told from the perspective of a diverse group of young people, ages 14–24, identifying as queer (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning), Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus presents portraits without judgment or stereotype by eliminating environmental influence with a stark white backdrop. This backdrop acts as a blank canvas, where each subject’s personal thoughts are handwritten onto the final photographic print. With more than 65 portraits photographed over a period of 10 years, the book provides rare insight into the passions, confusions, prejudices, joys, and sorrows felt by queer youth and gives a voice to an underserved group of people that are seldom heard and often silenced. The collaboration of image and first-person narrative serves to provide an outlet, show support, create dialogue, and help those who struggle.

Nothing Looks Familiar

Author: Shawn Syms
Publisher: arsenal pulp press
ISBN: 1551525712
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In Nothing Looks Familiar, Shawn Syms' debut story collection, characters from a wide swath of society chart paths from places of danger or unhappiness into the great unknown, each grappling with a central and sometimes unanswerable question: if you fight to change your circumstances, could it be possible to reconfigure your very identity? From bullied kids to meth-smoking mothers, characters in dire straits take measures?sometimes drastic ones?to take charge of their own fates. With a particular focus on the lives of the downtrodden and marginalized, Nothing Looks Familiar marries a vivid and distinct sense of place?the sights and smells of a meatpacking plant; a church-basement meeting hall full of sexual abusers?with universal themes such as the nature of friendship and relationships, and the configuration of the self. In this book, men and women alike struggle to cope, to survive, and to transform their surroundings; each of them is determined to come out the other side changed. In these richly drawn, deeply nuanced stories, nothing may look familiar, but everything is up for grabs. Shawn Syms is an author and journalist who has written for fifty-plus publications over twenty-five years.

No House to Call My Home

Author: Ryan Berg
Publisher: Nation Books
ISBN: 1568585101
Format: PDF, ePub
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In this lyrical debut, Ryan Berg immerses readers in the gritty, dangerous, and shockingly underreported world of homeless LGBTQ teens in New York. As a caseworker in a group home for disowned LGBTQ teenagers, Berg witnessed the struggles, fears, and ambitions of these disconnected youth as they resisted the pull of the street, tottering between destruction and survival. Focusing on the lives and loves of eight unforgettable youth, No House to Call My Home traces their efforts to break away from dangerous sex work and cycles of drug and alcohol abuse, and, in the process, to heal from years of trauma. From Bella’s fervent desire for stability to Christina’s irrepressible dreams of stardom to Benny’s continuing efforts to find someone to love him, Berg uncovers the real lives behind the harrowing statistics: over 4,000 youth are homeless in New York City—43 percent of them identify as LGBTQ. Through these stories, Berg compels us to rethink the way we define privilege, identity, love, and family. Beyond the tears, bluster, and bravado, he reveals the force that allows them to carry on—the irrepressible hope of youth.

H afrocentric Comics

Author: Juliana "Jewels" Smith
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 1629634557
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This unflinching visual and literary tour-de-force tackles the most pressing issues of the day—including racism, patriarchy, gentrification, police violence, and the housing crisis—with humor and biting satire. When gentrification strikes the neighborhood surrounding Ronald Reagan University, Naima Pepper recruits a group of disgruntled undergrads of color to launch the first and only anti-gentrification social networking site, mydiaspora.com. The motley crew is poised to fight back against expensive avocado toast, muted Prius cars, exorbitant rent, and cultural appropriation. Whether Naima and the gang are transforming social media, leading protests, fighting rent hikes, or working as "Racial Translators," the students at Ronald Reagan University combine their technically savvy and Black Millennial sensibilities with their individual backgrounds, goals, and aspirations.

Everything But the Burden

Author: Greg Tate
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780767911269
Format: PDF, Mobi
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White kids from the ’burbs are throwing up gang signs. The 2001 Grammy winner for best rap artist was as white as rice. And blond-haired sorority sisters are sporting FUBU gear. What is going on in American culture that’s giving our nation a racial-identity crisis? Following the trail blazed by Norman Mailer’s controversial essay “The White Negro,” Everything but the Burden brings together voices from music, popular culture, the literary world, and the media speaking about how from Brooklyn to the Badlands white people are co-opting black styles of music, dance, dress, and slang. In this collection, the essayists examine how whites seem to be taking on, as editor Greg Tate’s mother used to tell him, “everything but the burden”–from fetishizing black athletes to spinning the ghetto lifestyle into a glamorous commodity. Is this a way of shaking off the fear of the unknown? A flattering indicator of appreciation? Or is it a more complicated cultural exchange? The pieces in Everything but the Burden explore the line between hero-worship and paternalism. Among the book’s twelve essays are Vernon Reid’s “Steely Dan Understood as the Apotheosis of ‘The White Negro,’” Carl Hancock Rux’s “The Beats: America’s First ‘Wiggas,’” and Greg Tate’s own introductory essay “Nigs ’R Us.” Other contributors include: Hilton Als, Beth Coleman, Tony Green, Robin Kelley, Arthur Jafa, Gary Dauphin, Michaela Angela Davis, dream hampton, and Manthia diAwara. From the Hardcover edition.

Violence Against Queer People

Author: Doug Meyer
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813573181
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Violence against lesbians and gay men has increasingly captured media and scholarly attention. But these reports tend to focus on one segment of the LGBT community—white, middle class men—and largely ignore that part of the community that arguably suffers a larger share of the violence—racial minorities, the poor, and women. In Violence against Queer People, sociologist Doug Meyer offers the first investigation of anti-queer violence that focuses on the role played by race, class, and gender. Drawing on interviews with forty-seven victims of violence, Meyer shows that LGBT people encounter significantly different forms of violence—and perceive that violence quite differently—based on their race, class, and gender. His research highlights the extent to which other forms of discrimination—including racism and sexism—shape LGBT people’s experience of abuse. He reports, for instance, that lesbian and transgender women often described violent incidents in which a sexual or a misogynistic component was introduced, and that LGBT people of color sometimes weren’t sure if anti-queer violence was based solely on their sexuality or whether racism or sexism had also played a role. Meyer observes that given the many differences in how anti-queer violence is experienced, the present media focus on white, middle-class victims greatly oversimplifies and distorts the nature of anti-queer violence. In fact, attempts to reduce anti-queer violence that ignore race, class, and gender run the risk of helping only the most privileged gay subjects. Many feel that the struggle for gay rights has largely been accomplished and the tide of history has swung in favor of LGBT equality. Violence against Queer People, on the contrary, argues that the lives of many LGBT people—particularly the most vulnerable—have improved very little, if at all, over the past thirty years.