A review by cheye13
The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture by Grace Perry

informative lighthearted reflective fast-paced


This is not "essays on pop culture" but a memoir told through essays on pop culture. Which is perfectly fine! But not what I was hoping for when I picked this up.

The book started off strong, detailing media of Perry's youth. I saw myself immediately, not through the specific media, but by the way Perry described consuming media, internalizing it, living life through the lens of it. Then in a strange regression, the middle began to feel as though it were explicitly written for straight audiences. There's nothing wrong with marketing to a broad demographic, but as a queer woman reading another queer woman, I'd prefer to skip the literary small talk. I anticipated an upswing at the end, but it never really came back around. This was media that had shaped my gay experience and yet the media itself was sidelined for stats about contemporary social issues.

Of course identity and sexuality are deeply personal, but in the case of queerness, they're also deeply communal. This book firmly presents the uniquely nuanced perspective of a gay millennial, which is a conversation worth having. I'm glad this book exists! But with the marketing, I wanted something that felt more communal and less biographical. I wanted followthrough on the "made me gay" joke, I wanted new queer insight into popular media, I wanted a book that read like a gay inside joke all the way through.

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