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.
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.