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Proud, happy, grateful--gay youth describe their lives in terms that would have seemed surprising only a generation ago. Yet many adults, including parents, seem skeptical about this sea change in perceptions and attitudes. Even in an age of growing tolerance, coming out as gay is supposed to involve a crisis or struggle. This is the kind of thinking, say the young men at the heart of this book, that needs to change. Becoming Who I Am is an astute exploration of identity and sexuality as told by today's generation of gay young men. Through a series of in-depth interviews with teenagers and men in their early 20s, Ritch Savin-Williams reflects on how the life stories recorded here fulfill the promise of an affirmative, thriving gay identity outlined in his earlier book, The New Gay Teenager. He offers a contemporary perspective on gay lives viewed across key milestones: from dawning awareness of same-sex attraction to first sexual encounters; from the uncertainty and exhilaration of coming out to family and friends to the forming of adult romantic relationships; from insights into what it means to be gay today to musings on what the future may hold. The voices hail from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, but as gay men they share basic experiences in common, conveyed here with honesty, humor, and joy.
This book examines the life stories of a diverse sample of gay men from nine major international cities. Through their relationship stories, old established patterns of gay life are compared with new, emerging patterns of fatherhood, friendship and parenting.
A pioneer of LGBTQ studies dares to suggest that gayness is a way of being that gay men must learn from one another to become who they are. The genius of gay culture resides in some of its most despised stereotypes--aestheticism, snobbery, melodrama, glamour, caricatures of women, and obsession with mothers--and in the social meaning of style.
In Contemporary Christianity and LGBT Sexualities rich empirical material is presented by a team of experts to constitute the first comprehensive sociological study of 'non-hetero' sexualities in relation to contemporary Christianity. It will appeal to sociologists, scholars of religion and theology as well as readers across a range of social sciences.
Muhsin is one of the organizers of Al-Fitra Foundation, a South African support group for lesbian, transgender, and gay Muslims. Islam and homosexuality are seen by many as deeply incompatible. This, according to Muhsin, is why he had to act. "I realized that I'm not alone--these people are going through the very same things that I'm going through. But I've managed, because of my in-depth relationship with God, to reconcile the two. I was completely comfortable saying to the world that I'm gay and I'm Muslim. I wanted to help other people to get there. So that's how I became an activist." Living Out Islam documents the rarely-heard voices of Muslims who live in secular democratic countries and who are gay, lesbian, and transgender. It weaves original interviews with Muslim activists into a compelling composite picture which showcases the importance of the solidarity of support groups in the effort to change social relationships and achieve justice. This nascent movement is not about being "out" as opposed to being "in the closet." Rather, as the voices of these activists demonstrate, it is about finding ways to live out Islam with dignity and integrity, reconciling their sexuality and gender with their faith and reclaiming Islam as their own.
Queerness and Christianity, often depicted as mutually exclusive, both challenge received notions of the good and the natural. Nowhere is this challenge more visible than in the identities, faiths, and communities that queer Christians have long been creating. As Christians they have staked a claim for a Christianity that is true to their self-understandings. How do queer-identified persons understand their religious lives? And in what ways do the lived experiences of queer Christians respond to traditions and reshape them in contemporary practice? Queer Christianities integrates the perspectives of queer theory, religious studies, and Christian theology into a lively conversation--both transgressive and traditional--about the fundamental questions surrounding the lives of queer Christians. The volume contributes to the emerging scholarly discussion on queer religious experiences as lived both within communities of Christian confession, as well as outside of these established communities. Organized around traditional Christian states of life--celibacy, matrimony, and what is here provocatively conceptualized as promiscuity--this work reflects the ways in which queer Christians continually reconstruct and multiply the forms these states of life take. Queer Christianities challenges received ideas about sexuality and religion, yet remains true to Christian self-understandings that are open to further enquiry and to further queerness.
Drawn from extensive, new and rich empirical research across the UK, Canada and USA, Queer Spiritual Spaces investigates the contemporary socio-cultural practices of belief, by those who have historically been, and continue to be, excluded or derided by mainstream religions and alternative spiritualities. It will serve as a theoretically fertile, comprehensive entry point for any scholar wishing to explore the queer spiritual spaces of the twenty-first century.
The advancement of LGBT rights has occurred through struggles large and small-on the streets, around kitchen tables, and on the Web. Lawsuits have also played a vital role in propelling the movement forward, and behind every case is a human story: a landlord in New York seeks to evict a gay man from his home after his partner of ten years dies of AIDS; school officials in Wisconsin look the other way as a gay teenager is repeatedly and viciously harassed by other students; a lesbian couple appears unexpectedly at a clerk's office in Hawaii seeking a marriage license. Engaging and largely untold, From the Closet to the Courtroom explores how five pivotal lawsuits have altered LGBT history. Beginning each case narrative at the center-with the litigants and their lawyers-law professor Carlos Ball follows the stories behind each crucial lawsuit. He traces the parties from their communities to the courtroom, while deftly weaving in rich sociohistorical context and analyzing the lasting legal and political impact of each judicial outcome. Over the last twenty years, no group of attorneys has helped to transform this country more than LGBT rights lawyers, and surprisingly, their collective accomplishments have received relatively little attention. Ball remedies that by exploring how a band of largely unheralded civil rights lawyers have attained remarkable legal victories through skill, creativity, and perseverance. In this richly layered and multifaceted account, Ball vividly documents how these judicial victories have significantly altered LGBT lives today in ways that were unimaginable only a generation ago.
In 1975, California courts stripped a lesbian mother of her custody rights because she was living openly with another woman. Twenty years later, the Virginia Supreme Court did the same thing to another lesbian mother. In ordering that children be separated from their mothers, these courts ruled that it was not possible for a woman to be both a good parent and a lesbian. The Right to be Parents is the first book to provide a detailed history of how LGBT parents have turned to the courts to protect and defend their relationships with their children. Carlos A. Ball chronicles the stories of LGBT parents who, in seeking to gain legal recognition of and protection for their relationships with their children, have fundamentally changed how American law defines and regulates parenthood. Each chapter contains riveting human stories of determination and perseverance as LGBT parents challenge the widely-held view that having a same-sexual orientation, or that being a transsexual, renders individuals incapable of being good parents.To this day, some courts are still not able to look beyond sexual orientation and gender identity in order to fairly apply legal principles in cases involving LGBT parents and their children. Yet on the whole, Ball's stories are of progress and transformation: as a result of these pioneering LGBT parent litigants, the law is increasingly recognizing the wide diversity in American familial structures. The Right to be Parents explores why and how that has come to be.
Jason Cianciotto and Sean Cahill, experts on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender public policy advocacy, combine an accessible review of social science research with analyses of school practices and local, state, and federal laws that affect LGBT students. In addition, portraits of LGBT youth and their experiences with discrimination at school bring human faces to the issues the authors discuss. This is an essential guide for teachers, school administrators, guidance counselors, and social workers interacting with students on a daily basis; school board members and officials determining school policy; nonprofit advocates and providers of social services to youth; and academic scholars, graduate students, and researchers training the next generation of school administrators and informing future policy and practice.
Presents gay, lesbian and transgender youth issues through the words of the adolescents themselves, along with clear up-to-date essays about LGBT youth programs, policies, and practices around the world.
Goes beyond transgender to question the need for gender classification. Beyond Trans pushes the conversation on gender identity to its limits: questioning the need for gender categories in the first place. Whether on birth certificates or college admissions applications or on bathroom doors, why do we need to mark people and places with sex categories? Do they serve a real purpose or are these places and forms just mechanisms of exclusion? Heath Fogg Davis offers an impassioned call to rethink the usefulness of dividing the world into not just Male and Female categories but even additional categories of Transgender and gender fluid. Davis, himself a transgender man, explores the underlying gender-enforcing policies and customs in American life that have led to transgender bathroom bills, college admissions controversies, and more, arguing that it is necessary for our society to take real steps to challenge the assumption that gender matters. He examines four areas where we need to re-think our sex-classification systems: sex-marked identity documents such as birth certificates, driver's licenses and passports; sex-segregated public restrooms; single-sex colleges; and sex-segregated sports. Speaking from his own experience and drawing upon major cases of sex discrimination in the news and in the courts, Davis presents a persuasive case for challenging how individuals are classified according to sex and offers concrete recommendations for alleviating sex identity discrimination and sex-based disadvantage. For anyone in search of pragmatic ways to make our world more inclusive, Davis' recommendations provide much-needed practical guidance about how to work through this complex issue. A provocative call to action, Beyond Trans pushes us to think how we can work to make America truly inclusive of all people.
This book is a major contribution to contemporary gender and sexuality studies. At a time when transgender practices are the subject of increasing social and cultural visibility, it marks the first UK study of transgender identity formation. It is also the first examination - anywhere in the world - of transgender practices of intimacy and care. The author addresses changing government legislation concerning the citizenship rights of transgender people. She examines the impact of legislative shifts upon transgender people's identities, intimate relationships and practices of care and considers the implications for future social policy. The book encompasses key approaches from the fields of psychoanalysis, anthropology, lesbian and gay studies, sociology and gender theory. Drawing on extensive interviews with transgender people, TransForming gender offers engaging, moving, and, at times, humorous accounts of the experiences of gender transition. Written in an accessible style, it provides a vivid insight into the diversity of living gender in today's world. The book will be essential reading for students and professionals in cultural studies, gender studies and sexuality studies as well as those in sociology, social policy, law, politics and philosophy. It will also be of interest to health and educational students, trainers and practitioners.
In this extraordinary book, based on 150 in-depth interviews, Lori B. Girshick, a sociologist and social justice activist, brings together the voices of sex- and gender-diverse people who speak with absolute candor about their lives. Girshick presents transpeople speaking in their own voices about identity, coming out, passing, sexual orientation, relationship negotiations and the dynamics of attraction, homophobia (including internalized fears), and bullying. She exposes the guilt and the shame that “gender police” use in their attempts to exert control and points out the many ways transpeople are discriminated against in daily life, from filling out identification documents to gender-segregated bathrooms. By showing us a variety of descriptions of diverse real lives and providing a thorough exploration of the embodied experiences of gender variant people, Girshick demonstrates that there is nothing inherently binary about gender, and that the way each of us experiences our own gender is, in fact, normal and natural.