From Drag Queens to Leathermen
Language, Gender, and Gay Male Subcultures
Reviews and Awards
"Rusty Barrett's new monograph is a significant achievement from a scholar whose contributions have been instrumental in forging the field. Insightful, thorough, and yet often entertaining, From Drag Queens to Leathermen brings to bear on a number of crucial issues, notably on performativity and indexicality as deeply implicated in language ideologies underpinning gendered and sexual identity. From Drag Queens to Leathermen is not only a welcome addition to the accumulating literature on language, gender, and sexuality but a token of the maturity of the field." -- Costas Canakis , Journal of Language and Sexuality
"In these refreshingly sympathetic chapters, Rusty Barrett explores the ways in which notably contrastive groups of gay men use language as a central medium at once reflecting and constructing a sense of belonging and distinctiveness. In the complex field that aligns sexuality with race, class, and gender identities, among others, From Drag Queens to Leathermen guides us to appreciate the sites of performance, of ritual, and of ecstatic practice where the semiotic work is of indexically infusing sexual identity with sociocultural meaning and value, and with the dignity of subjectivity, is accomplished."--Michael Silverstein, Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology, Linguistics, and Psychology, University of Chicago.
"Barrett (linguistics, Univ. of Kentucky) uses ethnographic techniques--interviews, participant observation, archival research, and textual/discourse analysis--to offer a meticulous analysis of language use within six subcultures of gay men: African American drag queens, radical faeries, bears, circuit boys, barebackers, and leathermen. Using concepts such as performativity and indexicality, Barrett looks at how these subcultures espouse various and competing scripts of gender and sexuality."--Choice
"This is an illuminating book that eloquently demonstrates the necessity of analyzing sexuality and gender simultaneously and thereby revels the intersectional nature of language across cultures." --Men and Masculinities