Queer Time in Edmund White’s [A Boy’s Own Story]

Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story is a coming-of-age novel centered on the sexual awakening of a queer teenage boy in the Midwest during the 1950s. The novel discusses topics such as the corruption of innocence, the pressures of masculinity in the lives of young boys, the emergence of childhood sexuality, and the exploration of humanity through … Continue reading Queer Time in Edmund White’s [A Boy’s Own Story]

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Space and Masculinity in James Baldwin’s [Giovanni’s Room]

Originally published in 1954, James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room was not only one of the first novels to tackle issues of same-sex desire with heart and honesty, but it was also a text that prompted frank discussions of homosexuality within the public sphere. The narrative focuses on the experiences of David, an American who moves to Paris in … Continue reading Space and Masculinity in James Baldwin’s [Giovanni’s Room]

Masculinity Without Men? Judith Halberstam’s [Female Masculinity]

When we invoke the iconic image of James Bond, masculinity is usually one of the first notions that comes to mind. My friend and colleague, Dan Murphy, insightfully points out that even when James Bond utters his casual introductory catchphrase, "Bond, James Bond," these simple words resonate within our thoughts because they express "an appealing version … Continue reading Masculinity Without Men? Judith Halberstam’s [Female Masculinity]

Ellen Wittlinger’s [Parrotfish]: A Transgender Coming-Out Novel

What made a person male or female, anyway? The way they looked? The way they acted? The way they thought? Their hormones? Their genitals? What if some of those attributes pointed in one direction and some in the other? - Ellen Wittlinger, Parrotfish (p. 131) Although Julie Anne Peters' Luna was the first young adult text to tackle … Continue reading Ellen Wittlinger’s [Parrotfish]: A Transgender Coming-Out Novel

Male Prostitution and [The Hunger Games] – The Case of Finnick Odair

Perhaps one of the most shocking moments of Suzanne Collins's Mockingjay is when the reader finds out that Finnick Odair--a past victor of the Hunger Games tournament who is attractive and always surrounded by suitors--reveals that he was sold and used as a sex slave for wealthy patrons residing in the Capitol. This confession is broadcasted across the dystopic … Continue reading Male Prostitution and [The Hunger Games] – The Case of Finnick Odair

Do You Hate Your Body? Western Culture, Gender, and Body Issues

Some of the most awkward and disturbing conversations that I've had about the body have taken place during a meal. There is something about sharing food with company that ignites interesting topics of conversation as pertained to our body, nature, and food. I recall one particular instance in which I went over a friend's house for … Continue reading Do You Hate Your Body? Western Culture, Gender, and Body Issues