Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Women's and Gender Studies


Mario DiGangi

Subject Categories

Communication | Critical and Cultural Studies | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


sexuality, asexual, romantic attraction, non-sexual, desire


There is an increase in the negative views of queer and LGBT+ people in America, and I argue that it is, in part, due to the sexualized connotations of, and sexual association with, queer and LGBT+ identities. Innocuous acts by queer or LGBT+ people, such as being an out school teacher or holding hands in a public space, is enough for non-LGBT+ people to become uncomfortable to varying degrees and, sometimes, even cause verbal abuse or violence. When we look at queer or LGBT+ representation through the possibility of queerness, and by reading representations of queer and LGBT+ romantic attraction through non-sexual signs such as sacrifice, affection, desire, and trust, we begin to normalize non-sexualized identities of queer and LGBT+ people. Importantly, we validate non-sexual romantic expressions and relationships of all kinds, asexual included. We also work towards positive and non-sexualized representations of queer and LGBT+ people being reproduced by institutions of knowledge production, such as media and academia.