Being gay, being straight, and being yourself: Local and global reflections on identity, authenticity and the lesbian and gay scene

M Holt, C Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract Authenticity or 'being true to the self' continues to be a culturally valued quality despite (or perhaps because of) the increasing fragmentation of identities in contemporary culture. Focusing on accounts of the lesbian and gay 'scene' of bars and clubs in Birmingham, UK, we discuss how young people employ a discourse of authenticity when talking about leisure. In our interview material, the scene is privileged as a space to be authentic (somewhere to 'be yourself'), particularly for lesbian and gay subjects, but also for heterosexual 'visitors'. Through a discursive analysis, we elaborate on the contradictions inherent in these constructions of authentic spaces and identities, widening our discussion to consider how the articulation of authenticity in the local context of Birmingham can be seen as part of a broader discourse of authenticity circulated in an increasingly globalized consumer culture. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-425
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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