Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Unfolding livesYouth, gender and change$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Rachel Thomson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420510

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420510.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Coming out: from the closet to stepping stones

Coming out: from the closet to stepping stones

(p.89) Six Coming out: from the closet to stepping stones
Unfolding lives

Rachel Thomson

Policy Press

This chapter concentrates on Devon, a white working-class city dweller whose late childhood is marked by family violence and homophobic bullying. Devon's interviews took place over a period of four years, when he was aged 18 to 21. They are also supported by his memory book. In describing and interpreting Devon's successive accounts, the chapter focuses on the process through which he becomes increasingly interested in the gay culture; the way he manages the boundaries between the gay and straight life; and the articulation of gender, sexual, class, and ethnic dimensions within his identity. Devon's case study is structured by the three fields of existence that are the most important in his evolving biography: family, work, and play. These three arenas characterise each of his interviews in different ways, family being the dominant theme of the first, work and the boundaries between work and other parts of life dominating the second, and play dominating the discussion in the third. Devon's case history draws attention to the different ways in which ‘disembedding’ and ‘re-embedding’ may take place. Although he was disembedded from the physical locality of his community of origin, Devon nevertheless continues to be embedded in a particular generational class culture, expressed in part through the camp practices of his gay peer group, his experiences of work, and his enduring connections with his family of origin.

Keywords:   Devon, white working class, family violence, homophobic bullying, gay culture, straight life, articulation of gender, sexual dimension, class

Policy Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.