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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Henry in the closet
by Jensen, Darin, M.F.A., Mills College, 2015, 118; 1586897
Abstract (Summary)

Set in post-Stonewall and pre-AIDS 1980s Seattle, Henry in the Closet is a story of coming of age and coming out that reveals the power of unconditional love and acceptance. Henry is a young Mormon cattle-rancher in Idaho who walks out of school on the second day of his high school senior year, gets in his car, and drives away from his family and small town. Before he can get to Seattle, he manages to accidentally set Idaho on fire, fall into a sexual encounter with a trucker, and be spooked by different pairs of old ladies that seem to be following him. In Seattle, Henry hides (and loses himself) in a counter-culture of young gender-bending fashion punks with a proclivity for drugs and anything-goes sex. Successfully evading the state police, he can't seem to shake the old ladies that he comes to realize are members of the Mormon Relief Society and friends of his dead Nana. After breaking free and coming out, Henry finds himself trapped in a janitor's closet in a gay bar. Rescue becomes the culminating theme of Henry's odyssey.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Powell, Patricia
Commitee: Pollock, Sarah
School: Mills College
Department: English - Creative Writing, Prose
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 54/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American literature, LGBTQ studies
Keywords: 1980s, Gay men, Gender-bending, Mormon queer youth, Queer runaways, Seattle
Publication Number: 1586897
ISBN: 978-1-321-69627-1
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