The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture

St. Martin’s Griffin. Jun. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9781250760142. pap. $16.99. SOC SCI
Perry’s book of personal essays is both an overview of her experience as a gay woman and an examination of the pop culture that shaped her. Each essay pairs gay cultural issues with popular media like Glee, The L Word, and The OC; endnotes both add context and supply resources for further exploration. The book’s cultural references are always tied to parts of Perry’s experience as a gay white woman in a heteronormative world. She muses on being part of the Harry Potter fandom and wishing that Dumbledore had been openly gay, and discusses Tumblr’s influence on queer culture. Referencing TV shows and movies with queer characters, Perry is reminded that representation doesn’t always equal acceptance. The book’s strongest essay, “Be the PR Team You Wish To See in the World,” discusses the complexity of celebrities coming out and what it means to the baby gays paying attention.
VERDICT A funny, accessible analysis of pop culture that will benefit nonfiction collections; it informs about gay history and grounds its importance in real experience. And for many gay readers, even if the cultural touchstones aren’t their own, Perry’s anecdotes will still be relatable and uplifting.
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