Queer Youth Cultures

Edited by Susan Driver

Subjects: Cultural Studies
Series: SUNY series, INTERRUPTIONS: Border Testimony(ies) and Critical Discourse/s
Paperback : 9780791473382, 315 pages, March 2008
Hardcover : 9780791473375, 315 pages, March 2008

Table of contents

Introducing Queer Youth Cultures
Susan Driver

Part One
Performative Queer Youth Cultures, Embodiments, and Communities

1. What's That Smell? Queer Temporalities and Subcultural Lives
Judith Halberstam

2. "The Galaxy Is Gay": Examining the Networks of Lesbian Punk Rock Subculture
Angela Wilson

3. Redefining Realities through Self-Representational Performance
Jama Shelton

4. My Identity is Fluid as Fuck: Transgender Zine Writers Constructing Themselves
Jackie Regales

5. Articulating Sissy Boy Queerness within and against Discourses of Tolerance and Pride
David McInnes and Cristyn Davies

6. How to Be a Real Lesbian: The Pink Sofa and Some Fictions of Identity
Anna Hickey-Moody, Mary Louise Rasmussen, and Valerie Harwood

7. Photo-Essay
Cass Bird

Part Two
Desiring Youth and Un/Popular Cultures

8. Queer Readings of Popular Culture: Searching [to] Out the Subtext
Mark Lipton

9. Brandon Goes to Hollywood: Boys Don't Cry and the Transgender Body in Film
Melissa Rigney

10. Queering Pornography: Desiring Youth, Race, and Fantasy in Gay Porn
Zeb J. Tortorici

Part Three
Transforming Political Activism

11. FOBs, Banana Boy, and the Gay Pretenders: Queer Youth Navigate Sex, "Race," Nation in Toronto, Canada
Andil Gosine

12. Rethinking the Movement: Trans Youth Activism in New York City and Beyond
Megan Davidson

13. Principles of Engagement: The Anarchist Influence on Queer Youth Cultures
Neal Ritchie

14. Drag It Out! How Queer Youths Are Transforming Citizenship in Peterborough
Ziysah D. Markson

List of Contributors

Essays explore the contemporary contexts, activism, and cultural productions of queer youth and their communities.


Engaging a wide range of cultural practices, including zine-making, drag performance, online chatting, music, gay porn, and organizing resistance, the essays in Susan Driver's Queer Youth Cultures explore the creative, political, energetic, and artistic worlds of contemporary queer youth. The research in this collection bridges the perspectives of academics and queer youth, and the voices of the youth resonate throughout the analyses of their communities and lives. Through a variety of methodological approaches, the contributors bring into focus the institutional regulations of youth sexuality and gender, the complex and changing embodied experiences of queer youth, and the visual and textual languages through which the experiences of the youth are represented. Rather than seeing queer youth as victims, contributors celebrate the creative ways that sexual and gender minority youth forge subcultures and challenge exclusionary and heteronormative ways of understanding young people.

Susan Driver is Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at York University and the author of Queer Girls and Popular Culture: Reading, Resisting, and Creating Media.


". ..Driver's excellent collection … draws together a variety of contributions that challenge the tendency within research and public debate to think about young people who defy prevailing expectations in relation to gender and sexuality predominantly in terms of deficit … Taken as a whole, Queer Youth Cultures provides a rich and textured reflection on some of the key concerns emerging from the increased cultural visibility of—and academic debate about—queer young people. " — SIGNS

"Social sciences professor Driver has compiled a unique, thoughtful collection on queer youth subcultures, framed by a commentary drawing strongly on queer theory … The collection unpacks clear categories of gender, sexuality, and age, and challenges the ubiquitous victim narrative currently framing queer youth. " — CHOICE

"This book begins with the premise that queer youth are not pathologized, can and do exercise agency, and are legitimate actors in the public sphere. I am extremely pleased to see a book that successfully integrates transgender youth, politics, and culture as these topics have been sorely missing in ostensibly LGBT work. " — Susan Talburt, Director, Women's Studies Institute, Georgia State University

"The essays provide an analytical rather than a merely celebratory view of the projects and cultures as well as critiques of mainstream LGBT cultures. The collection is well timed as LGBT youth issues become more visible and mainstream LGBT politics become increasingly assimilated. " — Gwendolyn Alden Dean, Director, LGBT Resource Center, Cornell University