Date of Award

4-2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Comparative Religion

First Advisor

Alisa Perkins, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Ann Miles, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Cynthia Visscher, Ph.D.

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

In this paper, I trouble constructions of community through exploring temporal spatial configurations of support for queer-identified Muslims living in America. I assert that when community is not something one can physically access, use of the internet to create temporary spaces of community is critical in assessing identity reconciliation between intersectional conflicting identity. As it relates to queer Muslims, where there is a distinct lack of public community, the level of crisis some individuals face is explored through their use of online vehicles to establish social support systems that would otherwise not be available. My paper provides a framework in which to discuss queer Muslim challenges to traditional narratives among American LGBTQ existence and resilience. Based on ethnographic research among several online communities, I analyze how queer Muslims negotiate the authority of dominant narratives concerning identity conflict, activism, community, and space through digital forums. Based on virtual participant observation within queer Muslim online communities and interviews with those who use them, this paper advances ethnographic work on the intersecting projects of identity reconciliation and community formation through digital means.

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