The Courage to Connect

Sexuality, Citizenship, and Community in Provincetown
Author: Sandra L. Faiman-Silva
An illuminating case study of sexuality and community
Paper – $33
Publication Date
Paperback: 11/01/2007
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About the Book

Based on over six years of fieldwork, Sandra L. Faiman-Silva's The Courage to Connect traces the transformation of the Cape Cod community of Provincetown from its nineteenth-century origins as a fishing town where Portuguese immigrants settled to its present status as a welcoming, sexually diverse tourist enclave. Faiman-Silva examines the community's history and economy as well as how gay and straight cultures intersect in areas such as public education, local government, and law enforcement. Using queer and critical culture theory to deconstruct day-to-day local encounters, Faiman-Silva describes the causes of social conflicts and how these conflicts can be resolved. Capturing the pathos and joy of a community that has struggled to accommodate radical social changes, The Courage to Connect yields understanding of the ways in which communities can construct themselves to overcome differences.

About the Author

Sandra L. Faiman-Silva is a professor of anthropology at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts and the author of Choctaws at the Crossroads: The Political Economy of Class and Culture in the Oklahoma Timber Region. She lives in Falmouth on Cape Cod.


"A rich volume that speaks beyond theory or ethnographic account . . . to expand understanding of our diverse nature. . . . Provincetown offers us a vibrant example of the strength of community. The lesson of diversity here is exemplary, and it reaches well beyond the simple claim to 'being diverse' that is pervasive in politically correct times."--Anthropology News

"A courageous and path-breaking attempt to portray a town unlike any other, despite its awkward alliances, outright battles, and recurring discord. The author succeeds in captivating the uniqueness of Provincetown: she clearly loves the place in all its complexity as much as we who live there do."--History of Sexuality


"This wonderful case study--informative, insightful, at times touching--is a valuable addition to the literature on sexuality and community."--Roger Lancaster, author of The Trouble with Nature: Sex in Science and Popular Culture