Analysis Of Mary Gray 's Out Of The Country Essay

1351 Words Apr 26th, 2016 6 Pages
Mary Gray’s Out in the Country provides a concise history of queer scholarship that has led to the privileging of urban spaces and urban perspectives. She then challenges this metronormative notion by exploring the lives and identity formation of young queer people in rural Kentucky. Gray’s book differs from the articles first and foremost in that she focuses on youth rather than adults; the median age of her interviewees was just sixteen and a half years old. In focusing on youth, she observes active identity formation as opposed to collecting stories of formation that has already occurred as the other researchers do. This work is a critical part of the existing scholarship on the queer urban-rural binary; it is referenced in all of the other articles examined here even though those articles all focus on adult experiences rather than those of youth. While Gray’s book can no longer serve as an accurate portrayal of the current experiences of rural queer youth, as her field work was completed in 2004, it still provides a helpful foundation for conceptualizing new modes of identity formation and community engagement for queer youth living in rural areas today. Like the other researchers, she is critical of the devaluation of the rural side of the rural/urban binary. She refers to the detrimental effect of metronormativity that disallows rural spaces to be understood as places of LGBT identity formation and advancement. She cites (p. 6) historian John D 'Emilio 's “now classic”…

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