As a scholar, I've always been interested in the intersections between history and social forces writ large. My work asks, how do marginalized people find autonomy and freedom in societies hellbent on controlling and dehumanizing them? What can history tell us about how we got to where we are today? Whose stories have been uplifted and whose erased? For what ends? Which perspectives still need to be written?

I started my career writing about the history of sexuality, specifically LGBTQ social movements in the US and Western Europe. This led me to write about more contemporary LGBTQ movements for justice, such as those fighting the passage of Proposition 8 in California. During my Ph.D, I completed a multi-year research project on LGBTQ youth cultures at US women's colleges, Title IX and trans rights, and the problems of racism, classism, and femmephobia even in spaces aiming to be progressive and inclusive.

Since becoming increasingly aware of the urgent need to dismantle white supremacy, I've turned my attention to right-wing extremist movements, in particular pagan groups that align themselves with white supremacist ideologies. I continue to write and research on issues of racial justice and also continue to pursue scholarly interests in queer femininity and feminism. These diverse projects are cataloged below in reverse chronological order.

White Supremacy’s Old Gods: The Far Right and Neopaganism

In 2014, a White supremacist leader, Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr. (also known as F. Glenn Miller), killed three people outside Jewish organizations in Overland Park, Kansas. Although all three were actually Christian, Cross’s intended target was clear, as was the religious justification he found for his supremacist beliefs. Cross, founder of the Carolina Knights of the KKK, which later became the White Patriot Party,1 was a convert from Christianity to a neonazi interpretation of the pre-Christian,

"Womanhood Does Not Reside in Documentation": Queer and Feminist Student Activism for Transgender Women's Inclusion at Women's Colleges

This article considers queer-driven student activism at Smith College, as well as admissions policy shifts at a number of prominent U.S. women's colleges for transgender women's inclusion. The author illustrates how student attempts to dismantle the transmisogyny at Smith as a purportedly feminist “women's” space, as well as some women's colleges' shifts in admissions policy, challenge divisions between transgender and cisgender women. This paradigmatic shift reflects the campuses as comparative havens for gender and sexual exploration, the influence of postmodern gender theory in understanding identity, and the growth of “queer” as an all-encompassing signifier for sexual and gender transgression.

Daring to Marry: Marriage Equality Activism After Proposition 8 as Challenge to the Assimilationist/Radical Binary in Queer Studies

I analyze three case studies of marriage equality activism and marriage equality–based groups after the passage of Proposition 8 in California. Evaluating the JoinTheImpact protests of 2008, the LGBTQ rights group GetEQUAL, and the group One Struggle One Fight, I argue that these groups revise queer theoretical arguments about marriage equality activism as by definition assimilationist, homonormative, and single-issue. In contrast to such claims, the cases studied here provide a snapshot of heterogeneous, intersectional, and coalition-based social justice work in which creative methods of protest, including direct action and flash mobs, are deployed in militant ways for marriage rights and beyond.

What's Wrong With Be(com)ing Queer? Biological Determinism as Discursive Queer Hegemony

This article analyzes the current dichotomy in American political and popular culture between pro-gay biological determinism, which is used to argue for LGBTQ rights, and anti-gay social constructionist ideas. This pro-gay biological determinism results in a politics of exclusion that renders queer identities falling outside a biological, lifelong model invisible. Building on Lisa Duggan’s notion of homonormativity, the author describes this discursive production as biological homonormativity, illustrated through an analysis of three key sites: an exchange between lesbian music icon Melissa Etheridge and Governor Bill Richardson during an LGBT political forum; the legal proceedings of Perry v. Schwarzenegger; and the gay cult film ‘But I’m a Cheerleader!’