A review by reading_between_the_trees
The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture by Grace Perry

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This book got me. Perry put into words so many things that have shaped who I am without me even realizing it. The book covers a very specific set of media, but if you were consuming it at the time it came out, you were being influenced in a very specific way. It was like the puberty of queer media- when it was starting to become socially acceptable to portray queerness, but not so much that it was done overtly or correctly. Instead, it was done in a confusingly suppressed way that warped the brains of all the queer tweens watching.

Some highlights of the book were Perry's description of the layered closet, where she describes the various stages of coming out to yourself and then to others. Other great chapters were the one connecting the Taylor Swift songwriting framework to U-haul Dyke culture, the one absolutely calling out JKR for her half-assed admission of Dumbledore being gay, and the entire chapter on Disney's attempt to just take the parts they wanted from queerness for their characters.

But my favorite part of the book was where Perry flipsĀ  the quintessential gay question "do I want to be them or be with them?" from a realization of your sexuality to a realization of your gender: "do I want to be with them or do I want to be them?". Reading that was a "aha moment" for me in understanding my own sexuality. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who was conscious for even part of the 2000s. Whether you're queer or not, this will give you a whole new look at some very familiar media from that time.

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