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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Studies Interest Group, The hybrid 71st Annual International Communication Association Conference (ICA) to be held in Denver between 27-31 May 2021.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Studies Interest Group, The hybrid 71st Annual International Communication Association Conference (ICA) to be held in Denver between 27-31 May 2021.

Proposals (300 words) to present on this panel must be sent to paromita.pain@gmail.com by Nov 1, 2020, for consideration.

In the process of opening new spaces for discussions of queer sexuality, the internet and digital technologies have facilitated, a process of connectivity that have created important nodes of identification, belonging, and support (Pullen, & Cooper, 2010). These spaces, in different parts of the world, symbolically, have evolved to become collective sites of resistance to sources of oppressive power, encouraging the active exchange of queer ideologies across distantspaces and facilitating the formation of 'queer counterpublics'(Soriano, 2014).

The interconnectivity made possible by internet technologies enables theswift exchange of queer ideologies and networks across ways of life indistant spaces, where queer individuals 'get to experience something ofa queer community' and obtain advice and information about a variety ofqueer issues (Fraser, 2010). As early as 2010, researchers Earl,Kimport, Prieto, Rush, & Reynoso (2010) found that the lesbian, gay,bisexual, transgender (LGBT) movement, for instance, almost exclusivelyused online protest actions. Boyd & Marwick (2011) haveexplicated SNSsas networked publics, where an imagined collective emerges "as a resultof the intersection of people, technology, and practice ... .... forsocial, cultural and civic purposes, and they help people connect with aworld beyond their close friends and family. (p. 39). A telling exampleis the LBGT political party Ladladin the Philippines which over theyears developed a wide set of internet-based campaign strategies,including online narratives and discursive spaces in its website(Soriano, 2014).


Besides connectivity, as Taylor, Falconer, & Snowdon (2014) have shown,social networking sites are a 'space' thatare helpful in providing asmoother transition to 'coming out' as queer and that online technologycan be used as an effective tool to negotiate this process in differentways. Sobré-Denton (2016) shines a critical lens for grassroots activismthrough social media community-building emphasizing that SNS can besites of cultural transmission and intercultural community-building;operating as spheres that facilitate resistance through 'speaking back'to certain power structures (Mitra, 2010).But queer or no, social mediawith its ability to create and encourage conversation also sustainscertain gendered patterns of communication. For example, the stalkingand trolling of women, especially lesbians, online is real and oftenunceasing (Ejaz & Imtiaz, 2015.;Chawki & el Shazly, 2013; Chen & Pain,2017).


Lesbian and gay activism may now circle the globe, but it is vastlyunderstudied (Brown, 2009). Also, much of LGBTQ studies have beencharacterized by a predominance of US and Western perspectives(Ammaturo, 2016; Von Wahl, 2017). Emphasizing a deeply intersectionallens to the study of queer and transgender issues and digital media andtechnologies, centered in efforts that delve into topics such as race,disability, and colonialism as co-assembled with gender and sexuality,this panel seeks to examine how transitional LGBTQ education andactivism has transformed, both positively and otherwise, with the riseand proliferation of digital platforms in different countries globally.



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