Those queer teen years: an autoethnography of reading and realizing queer identity
High school can be a harrowing time for almost anyone, but that is especially true of any number of students who fall into underrepresented or subaltern groups. Students that identify with marginalized populations may often face difficulty finding characters and people to relate to not only in real life, but also in the media. This thesis looks at the ways in which the struggle to find these mediated representations--especially in young adult targeted literature can affect the worldview of queer identified teenagers. In order to dynamically and effectively interrogate the availability and quality of queer representation in young adult literature, this thesis makes use of the autoethnographic tradition, examining the effects the literature may have on the formative identity of a queer teen through personal narrative and lived experience. Through this narrative, presented as a layered account, theoretical concepts such as the closet, passing, representation, performance, and muted groups are all presented as part of "those queer teen years.