Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Josh Russell

Second Advisor

Sheri Joseph

Third Advisor

Gina Caison


No Boys Allowed is a collection of multi-length stories centered on the lesbian experience within the patriarchal proprietary foundations of society. These proprietary foundations include but are not limited to the dynamics of romantic relationships, social politics, working institutions, and marriage. I examine the heteronormative influence on lesbian interpersonal and institutional relationships through various perspectives and from a variety of women throughout the United States. Such communities include a group of women who frequent a queer owned and operated club in the Midtown area of Atlanta, Georgia as well as a group of friends living in metro Arizona. The characters’ relationships in this collection of stories, while not overtly related, are linked through the presence of one consistent character who is present in each state at varying points throughout the collection. The age range of characters varies from early twenties to mid-forties. The length of the stories ranges from five-hundred words to ten-thousand words. I chose a variety of lengths to amplify the range of voices found throughout lesbian communities across the country. The shorter micro and flash pieces serve to present singular moments, like a first kiss in “I Think It’s Love,” which explores the heteronormative boundaries of someone who doesn’t know they are polyamorous, or the idea of masking in “Drag,” a story about identity politics. The short stories establish a set of recurring characters who face hardships predominantly examined through the dissolution of a long term lesbian relationship. The question these stories examine is, can an authentic queer feminine lesbian identity exist outside a male-controlled heteronormative structure of identity which informs all systems, institutions, and interpersonal relationships. My research for this project began after my own divorce. Major influences include several auto fiction writers such as Lucia Berlin, Dorothy Allison, and Eileen Myles. Outside of these influences, I also interviewed several workers in the bar industry. I spent a night observing a DJ in the booth for the story, “Spinning.” I interviewed several drag performers, leaders and business owners from the lesbian and gay community in Georgia, and various queer professionals in order to inform the characters who appear throughout the collection.


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Available for download on Wednesday, April 29, 2099