Closet Cases: Queers on What We Wear


by Megan Volpert

“With its perfect 8.5″ x 8.5″ square design and dynamic, art quality photographs, it would be easy to consider Closet Cases as a coffee table book. But coffee table books are delightful to thumb through solely for their visual appeal, and typically don’t include engaging personal essays like those that complement each photograph in Closet Cases. . . . This book celebrates a sense of joy in self-expression.” — PopMatters

Jean jackets can be armor. Bracelets, spiritual totems. Belts can save lives, or take them.

As a verb, “fashion” is exceedingly queer. Our queer community learns to fashion identity from and through the clothes we wear, the costumes we choose, the fabrics we desire–and the statements these make. No other community allows clothing to serve as such a primary, dominant marker of subjectivity, both individually and collectively. We don’t simply permit fashioning; we rely upon what we put on our bodies to tip-off, to signal, and to serve as evidence of who we are.

This is much more than a “fashion book.” It is a collection of artifacts that testify to the power of fashion as a verb as it unfolds the complex and lovely strategies governing what we do in the LGBTQ+ community to build authentic selves that are both comfortable and seen.

Paperback | 156 pages| Et Alia Press | 2020

Megan Volpert is author or editor of over a dozen books on popular culture, including two Lambda Literary Award finalists and an American Library Association honoree. Her newest work is Perfume (Bloomsbury Academic, 2022) and she won Georgia Author of the Year for Boss Broad (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019). Volpert is a part-time Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Kennesaw State University and a Fellow at the American Institute for Philosophical and Cultural Thought. She writes for PopMatters and has edited anthologies of philosophical essays on the music of Tom Petty and the television series RuPaul’s Drag Race.

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