Serving LGBT Library Patrons in a Post Gay World

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Serving LGBT Library Patrons in a Post Gay World

  1. 1. Serving LGBT Library Users in a “Post-Gay” World Matthew P. Ciszek LFO Research Colloquium February 22, 2012
  2. 2. “Post-Gay?” What’s that? “To be post-gay means to define oneself by more than sexuality, to disentangle gayness with militancy and struggle, and to enjoy sexually mixed company.” (Ghaziani, 2011, p. 102) “*Young men and women+ say that the terms “gay” and “lesbian” conjure stereotypes that do not fit them, even when they are attracted to and have had sexual encounters with individuals of the same sex.” (Winter, 2004, p. 15)
  3. 3. “Post-Gay?” What’s that? “Sexual diversity is becoming more normalized, and the gay-straight divide is becoming blurred. Straight teens are acting, looking, and becoming gayish, and an expansive array of nonstraight teens is becoming visible.” (Savin-Williams, 2007, p. 219) “Social perspectives that focus on coming out of the closet, the championing of a core gay identity and gay pride, and the migration to gay urban enclaves are less descriptive of gay life today than they were years ago.” (Seidman, 2002, p. 21)
  4. 4. Just the Facts • 16% of participants in the 2010 National Survey of LGBT Campus Climate listed “queer” as sexual orientation • 70% of adults 18-34 support full marriage rights for same-sex couples in a 2011 Gallup poll • Movement in many LGBT student groups to post-gay names like Rainbow Alliance
  5. 5. Competing Narratives of LGBT Life Struggle and Success • “Classic” narrative • Characterized by “coming out” process • Identity developed through social practice in larger LGBT culture Emancipation • Fluidity in self-labeling • Rejection of “traditional” LGBT culture • Normalization of LGBT experience Kohler and Hammack, 2007
  6. 6. Serving Post-Gay Patrons 1. Make no assumptions. 2. Perform a needs assessment of LGBT patrons. 3. Develop relationships with local LGBT organizations. 4. Engage with “non-normative” LGBT groups. 5. Develop collections/services for both narratives. 6. Improve cataloging, subject headings, and index terms. 7. Embrace change!
  7. 7. More Information Presentation and resource list available at www.slideshare.net/mciszek Thank you! mpc16@psu.edu

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