The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Gay Catholics, Suicidal Moms, and the Polymorphous Perversity of Madonna’s Big Toe

The Declining Significance Of Homophobia McCormack Markx300
The Declining Significance of Homophobia: How Teenage Boys Are Redefining Masculinity and Heterosexuality by Mark McCormack (Oxford University Press, $50)

While stories of bullying and suicide have dominated the news about LGBT teens in the past few years, there are signs that the situation is improving greatly, at least in some locales. British sociologist Mark McCormack spent months talking to boys at three high schools in the U.K. and found straight kids increasingly accepting of their gay peers. Antidiscrimination laws, visibility of LGBT celebrities, the presence of positive gay characters in movies and TV, and grassroots activism have helped foster a culture in which “masculine” doesn’t have to mean homophobic, he writes. Progress is not universal, he notes, but it’s getting better in the U.S. too, and not just after high school. His book has a scholarly tone and some sociological jargon, but it’s largely accessible and has an encouraging message that should not lull us into complacency but inspire us to continue efforts to make schools — and the world — a welcoming environment for all. ( Ring


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