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Queer young adult literature: Reading as reclamation

My adolescence began when I was 19 years old, emotionally at least. It started, as things often do, with a book.

I was in my first year at university. I had been bemoaning the secondary school final exams for eviscerating my reading habits. Many of my peers complained of a similar ailment: “I miss reading but I just don’t have the motivation…”

“Perhaps I’ll read something gay but cute – soft,” I mused to a new friend.

The word “soft” came loaded with subtext. After spending the first 18-years of my life closeted, living in a regional town, and attending a Christian school, I had moved to university hoping to land myself in a gay utopia.

I don’t know what I thought a gay utopia would look and feel like, but the…

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