cover image The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture

The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture

Grace Perry. St. Martin’s Griffin, $16.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-76014-2

In this laugh-out-loud debut, Reductress contributor Perry blends memoir with cultural criticism to dissect the influence that 2000s-era media had on millions of queer millennials, including herself. “I’ve had some latent queer beast within me since childhood,” she writes, sharing her innocuous thesis that popular media “can shape our responses... to such preexisting gayness.” To support this, Perry dives with relish into such films and TV shows as The Real World, Harry Potter, and Mean Girls, combing each for relevance to her own muddled path toward coming out as a lesbian. While a few essays feel a bit rushed, the collection as a whole is greater than its parts; Perry wrings deep pathos from her attachment to tomboyism—as presented by such stars as Hilary Duff (aka Cadet Kelly), in the eponymous Disney Channel Original Movies film—snarks at her teen self’s crush on Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge, and observes the jealousy of younger queer people that gay millennials—who “straddle the pre-Glee and post-Glee worlds”—feel in a time “where it’s never been easier to be same-sex parents.” Perry’s casual, off-the-cuff charm and astute analyses mark her as a talented new voice. Agent: Tim Wojcik, Levine Greenberg Rostan. (June)