Reading about queer online space has been really interesting for me. There’s a lot written out there about how—mostly about lgb folks but sometimes trans* folks—use the internet to build community. There’s been some stuff said about how you could create online communities that could translate into offline communities. You could make friends online and then you could transfer those over into what people tend to refer to as “real life relationships.” The thing that I don’t see, or that I have come across, is an academic analysis of ways in which the internet helps you create your identity. I definitely did not come into this research with a full understanding of the process I was going through, nor did I realize how personal my research would become to me. But, like it or not, I got to know people, through the internet. I know everything about them. I know about their struggles; I know about their successes; I know about their likes and dislikes; I know about their relationships. In fact, they probably know about mine if they’re following me. I’ve gotten to know all these people in a very unique way and I’ve taken things from them that I feel have been incorporated into my identity. That is something I certainly haven’t seen explored in an academic setting.
My conclusions for this project are as follows: Queer online space is a radical, fabulous fucking space that deserves attention and deserves excitement. I don’t really know who it deserves to get those things from, because the people involved in the space know how valuable it is. They are the ones who make it valuable. So the question becomes, do I really want academia to care about this? I don’t know. In a way, I feel like maybe they would ruin it. There is so much more to be explored in terms of identity and the intersections of race and class, gender, sexuality, ability, and many other things. I’m definitely not done looking. I’m not done searching. I’m not done absorbing. I’m not done learning. I’m not done enjoying…and I certainly have a lot left to learn. Thank you for reading.