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Check It Out: The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture by Grace Perry

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This is Michael Maxwell with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out.

Today, I am recommending The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture by Grace Perry. This is a great book for fans of Chuck Klosterman, Chelsea Handler, David Sedaris, and other essayists who use humor to take a sharp look at the culture around them.

The essays in The 2000s Made Me Gay cover a variety of 2000s-era pop cultural phenomena both big and small, but the essay I liked the most was the one about Perry’s pop star namesake, Katy Perry, and her 2008 hit “I Kissed a Girl”. You see, it just so happens that Grace’s grandmother was also named Katie Perry- which meant that Grace spent a whole high school summer watching her peers dance to a song about a bicurious make-out session sung by someone with her grandma’s name. Was it that fact that made her nervous every time the song came on or was it the fact that she was a closeted high schooler who didn’t want to be outed by a top 40 radio jam?

Like many booklovers of her generation, Perry grew up a devout Potterhead. In one essay she discusses what the Harry Potter books mean to her and how she contends with J.K. Rowlings’ recent unhinged Twitter behavior while also asking readers whether Rowling can just declare that Dumbledore is gay without actually mentioning anything about it in the books.

The Y2K classic Mean Girls also falls under scrutiny, with Perry pointing out that although the movie is somewhat of a queer cult classic and includes a positive depiction of a queer teenager, the worst thing a character can be called in Mean Girls is a lesbian.

Perry will make you laugh and think at the same time, all while pondering over the Y2K nostalgia that is so popular right now.

Check out The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture and other memoirs about adolescence and the humorous-in-hindsight growing pains that go with it at the Sioux City Public Library today!

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Verde Outdoor Media.

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