The Meaning of Sexual Identity in the Twenty-First Century
“Something happened in the 1990s”; a group of people who were perceived as radical and “unmentionable” were transformed into a group of people who deserved human rights, and, if you looked close enough, were “normal,” just like everybody else (John D’Emilio (2002). Had a “post-gay era” (Ghaziani, 2011) begun? And if so, how might this impact on the meaning of sexual identity and a political movement steeped in identity politics? Have the LGBT youth of today been “duped into conformity because they believe the media’s representation of their lives?” (to quote Sarah Shulman). The articles gathered here address, from a wide variety of perspectives, the question of sexual identity for LGBT people in an era when sexual identity is seen by some as obsolescent. In the opening essay, Ritch Savin-Williams asks whether “young people with same-sex desires are basically content with modern culture and don’t desire a critical analysis.” This volume considers this question and others in relation to identity, fluidity, ambisexuality, a reluctance to label sexuality, and the possible irrelevance of sexual orientation in the 21st century. Contributors explore postulations in contexts that include same-sex topics in high school teaching; rural queers; the nature of art installations and same-sex desires; post-AIDS literature; contemporary Russian film and online chat rooms; and the Boy Scouts of America. The essays offer compelling debates about the current state of the discourse about sexual identity in the 21st century.
Judith S. Kaufman is Professor of Human Development in the Department of Teaching, Literacy and Leadership at Hofstra University. She has taught Introduction to LGBT Studies in the LGBT Studies program at Hofstra. Her research is currently focused on the links between pedagogy and the development of autonomy and self-regulation.
David A. Powell is Professor of French and Director of LGBT Studies at Hofstra University. He regularly teaches Introduction to LGBT Studies, as well as courses in French Queer Film, French Gay Short Stories, and questions on LGBT presence in the media. His current research focuses on queer characters in French novels of the early nineteenth century.
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Jennifer de Coste
Thomas O. Haakenson
Judith S. Kaufman
Ritch C. Savin-Williams
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