This groundbreaking new book weaves personal portraits of lesbian and gay Southerners with interdisciplinary commentary about the impact of culture, race, and gender on the development of sexual identity. Growing Up Gay in the South is an important book that focuses on the distinct features of Southern life. It will enrich your understanding of the unique pressures faced by gay men and lesbians in this region--the pervasiveness of fundamental religious beliefs; the acceptance of racial, gender, and class community boundaries; the importance of family name and family honor; the unbending view of appropriate childhood behaviors; and the intensity of adolescent culture.You will learn what it is like to grow up gay in the South as these Southern lesbians and gay men candidly share their attitudes and feelings about themselves, their families, their schooling, and their search for a sexual identity. These insightful biographies illustrate the diversity of persons who identify themselves as gay or lesbian and depict the range of prejudice and problems they have encountered as sexual rebels. Not just a simple compilation of coming out stories, this landmark volume is a human testament to the process of social questioning in the search for psychological wholeness, examining the personal and social significance of acquiring a lesbian or gay identity within the Southern culture. Growing Up Gay in the South combines intriguing personal biographies with the extensive use of scholarship from lesbian and gay studies, Southern history and literature, and educational thought and practice. These features, together with an extensive bibliography and appendices of data, make this essential reading for educators and other professionals working with gay and lesbian youth.