It used to be the case that all of the queer youth living in rural America ran away to the city to find others like them. The Internet has dramatically changed this. More and more, rural queer youth are building out networks of other queer rural youth, helping generate a rural queer identity. Think about what this means for the health and safety of queer youth. Think about what this means for the future of tolerance.
It is with great pleasure that I will be hosting Mary Gray at Microsoft Research on February 10 to discuss her latest book: “Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America.” Mary is going to talk about her findings so that we can get into a fun conversation. This will also be a great opportunity to connect with queer scholars and activists throughout New England so please join us for an evening of fun!
February 10, 2010 from 6:30-9:00PM
Microsoft Research, Cambridge, MA
Join acclaimed author, Mary Gray as she discusses her latest book, Out in the Country: Youth, Media and Queer Visibility in Rural America (NYU Press), which examines how young people in rural parts of the United States fashion queer senses of gender and sexual identity and the role that media–particularly the internet–play in their lives and political work.
Drawing on her experiences working for close to 2 years in rural parts of Kentucky and in small towns along its borders, Mary will map out how lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and their allies make use of social media and local resources to combat the marginalization they contend with in their own communities as well as the erasure they face in popular representations of gay and lesbian life and the agendas of national gay and lesbian advocacy groups.
Against a backdrop of an increasingly impoverished and privatized rural America LGBTQ youth and their allies visibly—and often vibrantly—work the boundaries of the public and media spaces available to them. This talk will explore how youth suture together high schools, public libraries, town hall meetings, churches, and the web that construct spaces for fashioning their emerging queer identities. Their triumphs and travails defy clear distinctions often drawn between online and offline or rural and urban experiences of identity, fundamentally redefining our understanding of the term ‘queer visibility’ and its political stakes.
Register today to join the discussion! After the presentation, Mary will be available for book signings. http://marygray.eventbrite.com/
About Mary Gray:
Mary L. Gray is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her research looks at how everyday uses of media shape people’s understandings and expressions of their social identities. She is the author of In Your Face: Stories from the Lives of Queer Youth (1999). Her most recent book, Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America (NYU Press) examines how young people in rural parts of the United States fashion queer senses of gender and sexual identity and the role that media–particularly the internet–play in their lives and political work.