Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts




English as a Second Language

Committee Chair

Sage Lambert Graham


Coming out, the act of disclosing a queer identity by an individual, is a fairly new phenomenon that both brings awareness to a marginalized community and allows individuals to self-accept. With the rise of media (television, movies, and social media), coming out has become a more public act where individuals are self-disclosing their identities to mass audiences. With these acts of self-disclosure now happening more frequently in online spaces (especially on social media), the research focused on computer-mediated communication sites with an interest on how identities were disclosed and how other users responded to the disclosure. YouTube has become a popular site for users to post coming out videos as well as view queer content that provides authentic representation. Within the queer community, a disparity between gay and transgender individuals has persisted, and the treatment of these individuals once "out" has differed as well. While YouTube has labelled itself as a welcoming, all-inclusive platform, the presence of anti-queer (both homophobic and transphobic) language remains on this site, especially in the comment sections. Therefore, with the threat of anti-queer language, a textual analysis was conducted in these online spaces to determine overall reaction and the difference in reactions in response to gay and transgender individuals.


Undergraduate Honor's Thesis

Library Comment

Honors thesis originally submitted to the Local University of Memphis Honor’s Thesis Repository.