Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Eric R. Wright, PhD

Second Advisor

Maura Ryan, PhD

Third Advisor

Katie Acosta, PhD


Are we witnessing the emergence of queer community? To answer this question, I interviewed self-identified queer people living in Atlanta, Georgia. During one-on-one and relational interviews, 31 participants reflected on how they understand and live queer, as well as socialize with other queers. An intention of this study is to advance theory; as such, this analysis inspected tenets asserted by “first wave” theoreticians and activists of the 1980s and 1990s. To test theory, I attend to queer as fluid, non-normative and diverse. The participants viewed their queerness in sexuality, gender, and political terms congruent with a first-wave framework. On the whole, participants supported the emergence of queer community, yet offered a cautionary tale as to whether collective queer will be able to achieve its political goals. “Still here, still queer” extends theory in the direction of shared identity and code for conduct, essential dynamics of community.