Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest

Farm Boys Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest Homosexuality is often seen as a purely urban experience far removed from rural and small town life Farm Boys undermines that cliche by telling the stories of than three dozen gay men ranging in age

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  • Title: Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest
  • Author: Will Fellows
  • ISBN: 9780299150846
  • Page: 289
  • Format: Paperback
  • Homosexuality is often seen as a purely urban experience, far removed from rural and small town life Farm Boys undermines that cliche by telling the stories of than three dozen gay men, ranging in age from 24 to 84, who grew up in farm families in the Midwest Whether painful, funny, or matter of fact, these plain spoken accounts will move and educate any reader, gayHomosexuality is often seen as a purely urban experience, far removed from rural and small town life Farm Boys undermines that cliche by telling the stories of than three dozen gay men, ranging in age from 24 to 84, who grew up in farm families in the Midwest Whether painful, funny, or matter of fact, these plain spoken accounts will move and educate any reader, gay or not, from farm or city 32 photos.

    One thought on “Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest”

    1. I had originally given this book a 4 star rating, but I can't stop thinking about it and decided it really deserved 5 stars. It's a must read for anyone who likes M/M cowboy/farm boy stories but be warned, some may find the themes mentioned disturbing (view spoiler)[like incest, bestiality, mental and physical abuse, dubious sexual consent, pedophilia (hide spoiler)]. Despite this I feel it's an important read as it does tell true stories of real men who have been brave enough to share their exp [...]

    2. I read this book as research for a story I wanted to write, and it completely changed not just the book I was researching but my perception of Midwestern gay men in general. I think this book also single-handedly turned me from a gay rights empathizer to a full-blown LGBT advocate. The pain revealed by the men in this book, all true stories, broke my heart and got me off my chair and into the One Iowa volunteer corps. Most fascinating (and hopeful) is how vivid the progression through the genera [...]

    3. I recently reread editor Will Fellows' collection of interviews with gay men who lived and worked on farms in the Midwest. Having worked on an Ohio farm for almost a year (between colleges), I found it worth reading again for the personal stories. Men who grew up in the 1930s all the way to the 1990s told stories that had striking similarities; their close ties to religion, awkward sexual experimentation, the difficulties of working before and after school, and their difficult relationships with [...]

    4. This book and the men in it have shown me a few things:-homosexuality has always been a part of human experience; the amount of gay sex some of these guys were having in the 30s-50s is crazy, and I'm actually a little jealous. It's just that nobody acknowledged it, talked about it, until the sexual revolution.-for most of the twentieth century, being gay was about being promiscuous, urban, party-going because that lifestyle was the only way they could thrive; they were pushed to the margins, to [...]

    5. Well, at least I'm back to reading, perhaps. Ang Lee had his 'Brokeback Mountain' leads read this before filming. I can certainly see why. For someone like myself - transplanted from the east coast - 'FB' is an illuminating read. The reasons for not coming out in the midwest do differ in some unexpected ways. But it's not surprising at all that all of these guys grew up in an environment in which homosexuality simply was not mentioned - or, if it was, it was thought of as that which dare not spe [...]

    6. True stories from gay boys growing up on farms. Painfully true. My sister had to read it for a class and hated it. I picked it up because, really, gay cowboys could never be bad. I was shocked by the honesty and shamelessness of these stories. It's refreshing.

    7. The stories themselves are compelling and fascinating. Disturbing sometimes maybe. Dull at others, maybe. But they're real and honest and raw. The problem is that the writing is very newspaper-y. I know it's not really the book's /fault/ exactly, collecting the stories of so many people means you're going to be getting a lot from people who just aren't natural storytellers, but I really think the book would have benefited from a heavier handed editor. Would it have compromised the integrity of t [...]

    8. You will find much to reflect on in this book. It is carefully ordered by time so the oldest lives are presented first. I think the oldest man is in his mid eighties so he goes back a long way. The lives are on average four or five pages long - some shorter but none really more than that. What binds them all together is the farming background but their own particular circumstances lifts what could be a very repetitive book into something original.Nearly all of the men have left their farming bac [...]

    9. I picked up this book because I'm doing research on the gay rural experience. Because it is important and interesting, and also because of the fiction I'm writing. There is so little attention paid to queer rural experience in a lot of mainstream gay media, and this book was really wonderful in how it delved into the oral histories of gay men who grew up on farms. The book consists of ~30 short interviews with gay men who'd grown up on Midwestern farms, ranging from the 1940's to the 1980's. So [...]

    10. Just call me Connie. (Sanders) I'm in the youngest of the three cohorts by decade. And yes, Ang Lee gave Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger a copy of this book to read at the recommendation of Annie Proulx! From : "Director Ang Lee gave Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal copies of the book, "Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest", by Will Fellows, a book that had been mentioned by both Annie Proulx and Diana Ossana as an excellent reference source, to help them understand their characte [...]

    11. I picked this up because my cousin and his partner were one of the stories told in itended up reading the whole thing! A really interesting exploration of what it was like for real-life gay men growing up in rural areas, from the 1930s all the way up through the 1980s. Glad to see how much more accepting of themselves they became as the book progressed chronologically. Fascinating!

    12. Good, but somewhat monotonous after awhile. Interesting insights into the rural culture and men transitioning (often) to city life. I have a lot of farm relatives so this gave me food for thought.

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