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Growing Up QueerKids and the Remaking of LGBTQ Identity$
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Mary Robertson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479879601

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479879601.001.0001

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“A Whole Lot of Queer”

(p.1) Introduction
Growing Up Queer

Mary Robertson

NYU Press

This chapter introduces the reader to Spectrum—the LGBTQ youth drop-in center that is the focus of this ethnography. Using Sara Ahmed’s concept of queer orientation it argues that this is not a universal story about LGBTQ youth but, rather, one about queer youth specifically. The term “queer” is used both to describe a way of being in the world that opposes normal, as well as to describe sexual conduct and behavior. It argues that the dominant discourse about LGBTQ youth as either at risk or resilient results in an incomplete understanding of what it means to be young and queer. The chapter includes a discussion of the challenges of doing sexualities research with youth and explains the theoretical significance of the sociology of sexualities and queer theory to the analysis. The introduction also addresses the methodological approach used to conduct the research, researcher reflexivity, and specific details about the use of language.

Keywords:   ethnography, queer orientation, LGBTQ, youth, queer, sociology of sexualities, queer theory

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