Hello! My name is Kira Deshler, and this website serves as my Master’s Thesis. Broadly, this thesis is about queer female fans, community and space. Each chapter looks at one (or several) examples of queer female community/space, with the intent of illustrating the various ways that queer women have created communities in and around fandom across time and space.

This thesis is academic in its depth and scope, but my aim was to write it in such a way that it is accessible to any and all audiences regardless of their level of exposure to academic writing. This focus on accessibility is also the reason I have chosen to publish this thesis on a website rather than in an academic database. I hope that this project can serve as a resource both within and outside of academia, bringing together queer women, scholars, and fans from across the globe.

This thesis could not have been completed without the encouragement and support of my friends and colleagues at UT Austin, including the incredible women on my thesis committee, Dr. Suzanne Scott and Dr. Jennifer McClearen. I also want to thank all of the people at ClexaCon who were gracious enough to take the time to speak with me, and all of the queer women and fans throughout history who have created and sustained the communities that I am now lucky enough to be researching.

Below is a table of contents. Happy reading!

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Uncovering Queer Histories
    • Bonus: Lesbian Pulp Gallery
    • Bonus: The Ascent of Lesbian Jesus: Hayley Kiyoko’s Expectations
  • Chapter 2: “Hi I’m Here to Cry”: Online Queer Fandom, Lesbian YouTube Couples, and Digital Breakups
    • Bonus: The Kiss Heard ‘Round the World: “Juliantina” and International Lesbian Soap Operas
    • Bonus: The Queer Canon
  • Chapter 3: I’m Here Because “I’m Hella Gay”: ClexaCon and the Contemporary Search for Safe Spaces
  • Conclusion