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In a Queer Voice

Journeys of Resilience from Adolescence to Adulthood

Michael Sadowski

Publication Year: 2013

Adolescence is a difficult time, but it can be particularly stressful for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identifying youth. In order to avoid harassment and rejection, many LGBTQ teens hide their identities from their families, peers, and even themselves.
Educator Michael Sadowski deftly brings the voices of LGBTQ youth out into the open in his poignant and important book, In a Queer Voice. Drawing on two waves of interviews conducted six years apart, Sadowski chronicles how queer youth, who were often “silenced” in school and elsewhere, now can approach adulthood with a strong, queer voice.
In a Queer Voice continues the critical conversation about LGBTQ youth issues—from bullying and suicide to other risks involving drug and alcohol abuse—by focusing on the factors that help young people develop positive, self-affirming identities. Using the participants’ heartfelt, impassioned voices, we hear what schools, families, and communities can do to help LGBTQ youth become resilient, confident adults.

Published by: Temple University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-x

A voice that sounds different may be called just that—a different voice. Or it may be called odd, or deviant, or queer. The implication is that there is a right way to speak and that this different voice is somehow not right. At the time I wrote In a Different Voice, women, insofar as they differed from men, were considered to be either less or more than human. ...

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Introduction: The Importance of Being Heard

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pp. 1-16

To grow up lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) in the United States is to be aware of a profound silence in our relationships, our society, and in many cases even ourselves. Despite recent political and social gains such as the legalization of same-sex unions in some states, glimpses of LGBTQ (or at least gay and lesbian) visibility on television ...

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1. David: The Slow Build of a Voice of Resistance

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pp. 17-38

When David1 first enrolled in the Harvard study on the relational lives of LGBTQ youth, he was well into his junior year at Carpenter College, a well-known urban liberal arts institution, even though he was only nineteen years old. An intelligent, articulate young white man with blond hair and bright blue eyes, ...

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2. Lindsey: Learning a New Language

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pp. 39-59

Sitting on an old sofa in the “hangout” room at YouthWest on a Saturday afternoon, fifteen-year-old Lindsey is an open book. With her straight brown hair flowing down to the middle of her back, baggy untucked shirt, and fluid way of walking and moving, Lindsey exudes ease—that rare teenager who seems extremely comfortable in her own skin ...

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3. Ruth: A Person to Trust and a Place to Belong

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pp. 60-76

Standing in a hilltop field on the small campus where Ruth attends graduate school, I cannot help being struck by the idyllic feel of the surroundings: the bright sun of an early fall day, the pair of Frisbee-playing dogs on the lawn, the inspiring vista of the city skyline in the distance. ...

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4. Travis: Twenty-First-Century Everyman

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pp. 77-92

In comparison to David, the activist (Chapter 1); Lindsey, the peer educator and aspiring speaker (Chapter 2); and Ruth, the teacher, mentor, and academic (Chapter 3), Travis’s focus and ambitions are much more personal. Patching together income from two jobs at the time we meet for our Phase II interview, Travis, twenty-seven, was working late-evening shifts ...

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5. Jordan: Across the Gender Border—and Back Again

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pp. 93-113

The story of Jordan begins as the story of Matt, a female-to-male transgender youth I met at YouthWest in 2004.1 Although still biologically female, Matt presented himself at the time as a young man, with his brown hair cut short, the use of a typically male name, and the oversized flannel shirt and carpenter jeans typical of late adolescent boys ...

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6. Eddie: Coming Out and Embracing the World

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pp. 114-130

Eddie was one of the first people I met at CityYouth and was president of the organization when I paid my first visit to introduce the study to the steering committee. A friendly, outgoing young white man with wide eyes and the quick speech patterns of someone always ready to take on the next challenge, Eddie struck me immediately as a natural leader. ...

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7. The Quest for “One Good Relationship” : Connections and Disconnections in Adolescence

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pp. 131-152

The young adults profiled in Chapters 1 through 6 participated in both Phase I and Phase II of this multipart research, but twenty-four additional youth completed questionnaires, fourteen of whom also participated in in-depth interviews during Phase I of the project. I interviewed six of these additional participants myself ...

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8. Foundations of Queer Voice: Silence and Support in Schools, Communities, Families, and Society

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pp. 153-169

The young adults and adolescents profiled in this book are survivors of trauma. Much of what took place in their homes, schools, and communities— including incessant harassment; attempts to convert them from homosexuality; and verbal, physical, and sexual abuse—can be considered nothing less. ...

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pp. 170-174

More than two decades separate my experiences in adolescence and young adulthood from those of the research participants profiled in this book. It would therefore be easy and convenient for me simply to assume the role of “objective” researcher on the issues affecting LGBTQ youth and view the findings from a purely empirical perspective. ...

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pp. 175-176

This book is dedicated to the adolescents and young adults who generously shared their stories with me and with our research team, particularly those who allowed me into their lives a second time many years later. I believe their voices will resonate with many readers who pick up this book ...

Note on the Listening Guide Method

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pp. 177-178


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pp. 179-184

Online Resources for Supporting Queer Youth Voice

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pp. 185-188


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pp. 189-196

E-ISBN-13: 9781439908037
E-ISBN-10: 1439908036
Print-ISBN-13: 9781439908020
Print-ISBN-10: 1439908028

Page Count: 206
Publication Year: 2013