Consuming My Way Gay: An Autoethnographic Account of Coming Out as Consumptive Pedagogy
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As members of consumerist societies, we are socialized into what it means to be good citizens and participate in society through our consumption. For many, this is taught in the home, yet for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, home is often not a source of reliable information about our identities. As such, LGBTQ individuals turn to the marketplace to seek information about their sexual and gender identities. This autoethnographic account shares, through three vignettes, how coming out as a queer man is shaped by consumptive pedagogy—that is, learning through consumption. First, material goods are explored as the signifier of sexual orientation. Then, the gay bar as marketplace and the online marketplace for relationships are explored.