Identity Envy: Wanting to be who We're Not : Creative Nonfiction by Queer Writers

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Psychology Press, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 267 pages
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Gay men and lesbians present humorous and hard-hitting accounts of the need to belong . . . somewhere

Why would a lesbian raised in a Jewish home have a sudden desire to be a tough-talking Catholic girl? And why would a gay man travel to Ireland in a desperate attempt to escape his “hillbilly” roots? Identity Envy—Wanting to Be Who We're Not explores the connections gay men and lesbians have to religions, races, ethnicities, classes, families of origin, and genders not their own. This unique anthology takes both humorous and serious looks at the identities of others as queer writers explore their own identity envies in personal essays, memoirs, and other creative nonfiction.

Gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered, intersex, and other sexual minorities often feel marginalized by mainstream culture and have a need to belong somewhere, to claim a group as their own. This surprising book presents stories of identity envy that are humorous and hard-hitting, poignant and provocative, written with energy, wit, and candor by many of your favorite writers-and some exciting newcomers.

Identity Envy—Wanting to Be Who We're Not includes:
  • Gerard Wozek's King Fu-infused “Chasing the Grasshopper”
  • Max Pierce's fantasy of being a “Child Star” that helped him through a troubled family life
  • Lori Horvitz's “Shiksa in my Living Room”
  • D. Travers Scott's “EuroTex”
  • Perry Brass's “A Serene Invisibility: Turning Myself into a Christian Girl”
  • Jim Tushinski's ode to Lost in Space, “The Perfect Space Family”
  • Al Cho's unlikely identification with Laura Ingalls Wilder characters, “Farmer Boy”
  • Irish-American John Gilgun wishes he could be one of those “Italian-American Boys”
  • Joan Annsfire rejects her Jewish heritage to become Catholic schoolgirl
    Corinne O'Donnell in “The Promise of Redemption”
  • Andrew Ramer's “Tales of a Male Lesbian”
  • city slicker Mike McGinty's life with the cattle folk, “You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Helen”
  • and much more!
Identity Envy—Wanting to Be Who We're Not is a must-read for anyone who appreciates good writing—especially gay and lesbian readers who know what it's like to wish you were someone else.



 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Primary Wishes
5
The Promise of Redemption
15
EuroTex
23
Adventures in Unexpected Multiethnicity
29
Chasing the Grasshopper
41
When I Was a Girl1966
49
ItalianAmerican Boys
55
Plantation Fantasies or One Hillbillys Journey to the Tidewater and Back
133
Tania Sometimes
149
Child Star
157
Acting American
171
Escape from the Appalachians
181
Living Mythically
187
Who Am I?
197
Thieves Pimps and Holy ProstitutesMy World
203

At the Museum of Jewish Heritage
59
Pimp Juice
65
You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Helen
75
Wanting
83
For Those Who Cannot Choose
91
Nannas Room
107
Treasure Chest
119
Turning Myself into a Christian Girl
127
Tales of a Male Lesbian
215
The Perfect Space Family
219
Farmer Boy
227
Shiksa in My Living Room
237
Connections
245
About the Editors
260
Contributors
261
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Jim Van Buskirk is a librarian at the San Francisco Public Library and the coauthor of "Gay by the Bay," Will Shank is the former chief conservator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He has written for "The Advocate," "The Art Newspaper," and the" Bay Area Reporter,

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