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For lack of a better word: neo-identities in non-cisgender, non-straight communities on Tumblr

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posted on 2021-05-22, 15:31 authored by Christine Feraday
Non-cisgender and non-straight identity language has long been a site of contention and evolution. There has been an increase in new non-cisgender, non-straight identity words since the creation of the internet, thanks to social media platforms like Tumblr. Tumblr in particular has been host to many conversations about identity and self-naming, though these conversations have not yet been the subject of much academic research. Through interviews and analysis of Tumblr posts, this thesis examines the emergence of new identity words, or neo-identities, used by non-cisgender and non-straight users of Tumblr. The work presents neo-identities as strategies for resisting and challenging cisheteronormative conceptions of gender and attraction, as well as sources of comfort and relief for non-cisgender/non-straight people who feel ‘broken’ and excluded from mainstream identity categories. This thesis also posits that Tumblr is uniquely suited for conversations about identity because of its potential for self-expression, community, and anonymity.





Master of Arts


Communication and Culture

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Susan Driver