(Re) presenting us: ‘Gay’ youth speak out about sexuality identities, media, and their lives in the cultural context of 21 st century heterosexism
Cantaffa, David T.
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Varying conceptions of youth who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) have been posited as a means to define GLBT identity and shape social and political policy that impact those who identify as GLBT. The findings of this dissertation show that existing conceptions that cast youth as consumed by GLBT identity within the binary of pathological/at-risk–resilient or as unconcerned with GLBT identity to the point that they abandon the identity and live post-gay do not sufficiently explain youth who (may) identify as GLBT. Through an ethnographic study situated in a community-based GLBT youth organization, a conception of GLBT identity emerges in which youth are not consumed by GLBT identity, nor do they abandon GLBT identity and live post-gay; but instead, GLBT remains a relevant marker of identity, including as constructed through the script of heterosexism and homophobia.