Everybody comes out about something: (Re)visioning coming out narratives as a rhetorical genre




Jone, Jamie

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Though many academics seem to be turning their attention away from coming out narratives, coming out narratives have been taken up as tools to create social change by many marginalized and/or oppressed groups, thus reifying the importance of the narratives. Coming out is no longer just for debutantes and queers but is a practice that individuals who are members of marginalized and/or oppressed groups have taken up in order to make their stories heard. In this research I call for a (re)visioning of coming out narratives as a rhetorical genre—a genre that creates social and rhetorical action—per the criteria set forth by Carolyn Miller in her articles, “Genre as Social Action” and “Rhetorical Community: The Cultural Basis of Genre,” with the goal that such a (re)visioning will bring new life and focus to coming out narratives and their functions in social movements.



Language, literature and linguistics, Social sciences, Coming out, Cultural rhetorics, Genre theory, Queer rhetorics, Rhetorical genre studies, Social action