Living Sexuality

Stories of LGBTQ Relationships, Identities, and Desires

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There has never been a more crucial time for an intimate and thorough examination of the ways in which sexuality informs people’s lives. In Living Sexuality: Stories of LGBTQ Relationships, Identities, and Desires, the authors use autoethnography and personal narrative to provide first-hand accounts of the connections between sexuality, particularly LGBTQ identities, and the everyday experiences of relationships. Each story also invites readers to understand how sexuality informs communication as it occurs within diverse cultural contexts. In addition, the stories often focus on taboo issues overlooked or ignored in mainstream research about sexuality. Discussion questions appear at the end of each story that should stimulate engagement by students, instructors, and researchers.

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Keith Berry, Ph.D. (2004), Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is Associate Professor of Communication at University of South Florida. He has published numerous journal articles and book chapters, and the book Bullied: Tales of Torment, Identities, and Youth . He is past Chair of the Ethnography Division of the National Communication Association (NCA) and past Co-chair of NCA's Anti-Bullying Task Force.

Catherine M. Gillotti, Ph.D. (1996), University of Kentucky, is Associate Professor of Communication at Purdue University Northwest. She has published several book chapters and journal articles in the area of interpersonal communication and health communication.

Tony E. Adams, Ph.D. (2008), University of South Florida, is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Bradley University. He is the co-author and/or co-editor of six books including Narrating the Closet: An Autoethnography of Same Sex Desire. He is a co-editor of the "Writing Lives: Ethnographic Narratives" book series and founding co-editor of the Journal of Autoethnography.
" Living Sexuality explores the diverse ways that people who identify as LGBTQ experience and live their sexualities. The authors show how sexualities are constructed, changed, and understood, and how desires and relationships with family, friends, and partners are animated in day-to-day social practices. Unique in its attention to everyday details, embodiment, and emotional vulnerability, the autoethnographic stories add both a personal and conceptual dimension to our understanding of sexuality, evoking a rich and textured experience of the complexities, fears, joys, and sorrows of living LGBTQ lives. Discussions at the end of each chapter will stimulate lively and introspective discussions in classrooms, particularly those focused on human sexuality, queer studies, and gender. This is an important and welcome addition to the literature on LGBTQ issues."
- Carolyn Ellis, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Department of Communication, University of South Florida " Living Sexuality makes good on its claim that engaging stories provide valuable insight into the lived experience of desire, identity, and communication. Berry, Gillotti, and Adams (with welcome trans cameos from their colleague Billy Huff) exhibit their diverse and complementary strengths in personal narrative and authoethnography. Through the LGBQ(T) stories they tell across ably disposed chapters, and across the arcs of their lives to date, we understand better how relational communication matters in complex contexts of friendship, family, mentorship, religion, sexual liaison, partnership, and more. They offer much to reflexively contemplate as we strive as queer people to communicate better with those who share the sexuality of our daily lives."
- Charles E. Morris III, Professor and Chair, Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Syracuse University, Co-Editor, QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking "Demonstrating that sexualities should be more naturalized and less subject to ideological critique, Living Sexuality weaves the deeply personal, sometimes painful, and often joyful experiences of authors Keith Berry, Catherine M. Gillotti, and Tony E. Adams into a thinking/feeling experience not soon forgotten. Whether celebrating The Golden Girls or musing about monogamy, the authors offer meaningful, productive, and candid accounts of their sexual being. This book is a must for my next Sexuality & Communication seminar."
- Jimmie Manning, Chair and Professor, Communication Studies, University of Nevada
Acknowledgments
Introduction

1. Ode to the Boys
Keith Berry

2. The Closet
Tony E. Adams

3. Mental Gymnastics
Catherine M. Gillotti

4. Walls
Billy Huff

5. Things I Don’t Have to Do
Keith Berry

6. Queer Duck
Tony E. Adams

7. True Companion
Catherine M. Gillotti

8. Relational Gifts
Keith Berry

9. The Girls
Tony E. Adams and Keith Berry

10. Language Matters
Tony E. Adams

11. Rumination
Catherine M. Gillotti

12. The Sexual Relationship
Billy Huff

13. Monogamy
Tony E. Adams

14. The Joy
Catherine M. Gillotti

15. Things I Must Still Do
Keith Berry

16. Refrain
Catherine M. Gillotti

17. Resilient You
Keith Berry

18. Estrangement - Pride - Forgiveness
Tony E. Adams

About the Authors
Students and researchers interested in the ways in which LGBQ identities function in everyday contexts of communication, and the ways in which personal stories help us to understand these identities and issues. Would be appropriate for upper division courses and graduate courses on personal narrative, sexuality, and identity.