Out In The South

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Overview

In this book gays and lesbians from the Deep South to East Texas and Appalachia speak from vivid personal experience and turn an analytical eye on the South and its culture. Some contributors examine the power of traditional Southern attitudes toward race and religion, and consider the "don't ask, don't tell" attitude about homosexuality in some communities (the "public secret"). Other contributors show how gay culture is thriving in the form of women's festivals, gay bars, and unusual networks like that of Asian and Pacific Islanders in Atlanta.

Out in the South is organized into sections that focus on a central metaphor of space and location. This grounds the book in the sense of the South as a special region and in the inside/outside dilemma faced by many gay and lesbian Southerners as they negotiate their place in an often-inhospitable homeland.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The American South remains a society dominated by rural, white, straight, Christian males, but, as this anthology demonstrates, for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community, the South of today is not the South of 40 or even 30 years ago. Dews (English, Univ. of West Florida) and Law (dissertation adviser, Northern Illinois Univ.), coeditors of This Fine Place So Far from Home, have collected 15 essays, some previously published, that powerfully convey the complexity of homosexual lives in the South at the turn of the millennium. While homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and fundamentalism remain potent forces, even affecting relationships within the community, it is clear why many have chosen to stay to forge their own unique queer identities in such unlikely places as the Appalachian Mountains, small towns, and the military. Some of the essays might have benefited from tighter editing, but this book nicely fills in the 30 years where James T. Sear's fine Lonely Hunters (LJ 9/15/97) left off and is recommended for gay studies collections in academic and special libraries. Richard J. Violette, Special Libs. Cataloguing, Victoria, BC Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566398138
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2001
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. I Claiming Queer Space in a Hostile Place
Emmett's Story: Russell County, Alabama 9
Out in the Mountains: Exploring Lesbian and Gay Lives 16
Claiming Space in the South: A Conversation Among Members of Asian/Pacific Islander Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered Network of Atlanta 26
Women's Festivals on the Front Lines 56
Race and Gay Community in Southern Town 72
Pt. II Striking Out/Striking Back
Leaving the Confederate Closet 97
Black Gay Men and White Gay Men: A Less than Perfect Union 115
Same Difference: My Southern Queer Stories 127
Tennessee Williams Doesn't Live Here Anymore: Hypocrisy, Paradox, and Homosexual Panic in the New/Old South 144
Pt. III Representing Queer Lives in Public Space
Greetings from out Here: Southern Lesbians and Gays Bear Witness to the Public Secret 159
Looking for a City: The Ritual and Politics of Ethnography 173
From Southern Baptist Belle to Butch (and Beyond) 185
"Lines I Dare": Southern Lesbian Writing 204
Myth and Reality: The Story of Gay People in the South 229
Afterword 236
About the Contributors 241
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