Despite increasing tolerance, legal protections against homophobia, and anti-discrimination policies throughout much of the western world, suicide attempts by queer youth remain relatively high. For over twenty years, research into queer youth suicide has debated reasons and risks, although it has also often reiterated assumptions about sexual identity and youth vulnerability. Understanding the cultural context in which suicide becomes a necessary escape from living an unliveable life is the key to queer youth suicide prevention. This book uses cultural theory to outline some of the ways in which queer youth suicide is perceived in popular culture, media and research. It highlights how the ways in which we think about queer youth suicide have changed over time and some of the benefits and limitations of current thinking on the topic. Focusing on identity, Queer Youth Suicide, Culture and Identity also investigates why queer young men continue to attempt suicide. Drawing on approaches from queer theory, cultural studies and sociology, it explores how sexual identity formation, sexual shame and discrepancies in community belonging and exclusions are implicated in the reasons why some queer youth are resilient while others are vulnerable and at risk of suicide. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology, media studies, queer theory and social theory with interests in youth, gender and sexuality, and suicidology.
Rob Cover is Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia, Australia.
A Yankee Book Peddler UK Core Title for 2012 'Blending beautifully extant research with analyses of media representations, Rob Cover shows us that queer youth do not seek death, but an end to the pressure of making their sexual identities coherent, alongside shame, vulnerability, homophobia and the cultural politics of coming out. We must have a genuine interdisciplinary dialogue if we are ever to comprehend queer life as resilient.' Katrina Jaworski, University of South Australia, Australia 'Informed by post-structuralism, queer theory and a transdisciplinary ethos, this highly accessible text demonstrates the relevance of culture studies to a topic dominated by psychological and sociological analyses. Introducing debates on sexuality and suicidal risk while questioning the explanatory frameworks and prevention strategies that might be applied to issues of vulnerability and queer youth suicide this book is an important marker in the emerging field of queer youth suicide.' Katherine Johnson, University of Brighton, UK 'In Queer youth suicide, culture and identity Rob Cover presents a unique approach to conceptualising the issue of queer youth suicide by examining both the representation of the issue in popular media and the discursive frameworks through which suicidal queer young people are typically understood. By questioning the representation of queer youth as inherently vulnerable on the basis of their sexuality alone as well as the discourse of risk on which current knowledge of suicide is based, he provides a novel interpretation of the available research and widely publicised instances of queer young people who have taken their own lives and makes a persuasive argument for a change in how we as a society deal with this phenomenon... a balanced analysis of media representations of queer young people and suicide, pointing out the gaps and shortcomings as well as the strengths in current understanding of the issue. In particular, Cover’s examination of the