Capstone Project (Open Access)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Humanities & Communication
Humanities and Communication
The creation and facilitation of community among LGBTQ+ people has always been necessary as a means of support, protection, and affirmation in a discriminatory society. The common perception of this community imagines the migration of people from rural areas to urban meccas like San Francisco and New York in search of likeminded people. However, the advent of new technology has allowed for community building and organizing to occur more easily without face-to-face contact. In this paper I utilize existing literature, including a large study on queer rural populations, and real-world examples such as the platform Tumblr to explore the evolution of queer community and identity via the internet since the late-nineties and early-aughts. Additionally, I examine both past and current technology usage in the LGBTQ+ community, particularly among populations that experience greater societal stigma due to identity, culture, or geography. This essay ultimately comes to three distinct conclusions: that the historical trajectory of the LGBTQ+ community made the internet an especially appropriate medium for activism and community building, that technology has created a clear divide between on- and off-line queer populations, and that the internet has altered both perception and performance of queerness.
Allen-Young, Margaret, "#queer: Community, Communication, and Identity in the Digital Age" (2019). Capstone Projects and Master's Theses. 726.