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If All Dating Apps Are Based on Grindr, We Need to Talk about Cruising (Part I of III)

The first successful straight and lesbian dating apps emerged in the 2010s, including Tinder and HER. Widely known but woefully underexamined, these apps based their designs on, or even against, the first successful dating/hookup app: Grindr. In other words, developers imitated, refused, or even outright copied design, functionality, and structure to sell apps to straight people, lesbians, and other gay men (as the identity grouping went a decade ago, per big tech). Most importantly for my interest in lesbian, bi, queer, trans*, and sapphic (LBQT*S+) people’s experiences of dating and hookup apps, this evolution of dating apps from Grindr requires us to understand that all dating apps are based on—even by being designed alongside or against—the social and cultural hookup/dating norms of an app designed for, by, and about cis gay men, e.g. cruising.

In other words, this means that all dating apps are created from and/or against the

Take the LBQT*S Dating & Hookup App Survey!

Want to share about your experiences with dating and/or hookup apps as a lesbian, bisexual, queer, trans*, or sapphic person?


If you are over 18 years of age, you can take this online survey to share more about how these apps have or haven’t worked for you and how you want them to work.

The survey will take 20-35 minutes depending on how much you share.

This research is overseen by Dr. Jack Jen Gieseking and approved by the Mount Holyoke College IRB.…

How Dating Apps Researchers Tend to Study Women’s Experiences in Large Surveys

There are now thousands of studies on how people use, experience, and are even changed by their use of dating and hookup apps (hereafter: dating apps). I read hundreds of these articles, reports, and white papers that focus on or mention lesbian, bisexual, queer, trans*, and sapphic (LBQT*S) experiences in order to design my imminently launching LBQT*S Dating and Hookup App research survey. In this research, I unsurprisingly found the following trends in large surveys, even more recent projects:

  1. studies of “LGBTQ” people’s use of dating apps or studies about the experiences people from the LGBTQQIA2+ community tend to focus on gay men, almost exclusively assuming these men to be cisgender
  2. studies of women almost exclusively assume their research participants are cisgender, and often assume they are or focus just on heterosexual women
  3. dating app studies in general focus on the experiences of cisgender people, usually assuming that research

We Need More Lezbiqueertrans Dating App Studies, So I’m Launching One

In late 1999, I signed myself up for my first dating site, the now long defunct PlanetOut. I landed in New York City thinking I’d never meet anyone that I wanted to talk to at a bar or a club—primarily because I’d spent the last four years in a women’s college where I conveniently met all of my dates and girlfriends in our dorms. Within a few weeks on the site, I made a date with a queer femme who told me she was taken by my description of myself as a tall butch deeply obsessed with the poetry of Frank O’Hara. But the woman who met me out front of the Strand Book Store was not a match for me. Our politics worked; our cultural aesthetics were a fail. I was in management consultant-style non-iron Brooks Brothers (sigh, oh baby Jack); she wore mixed faux tiger-zebra-cheetah prints and had …

CFP Mapping Desire – 25 years on: legacies, lessons, and lacunae (May & Sep 2020)

This is a call for papers (CFP) for CFP Mapping Desire – 25 years on: legacies, lessons, and lacunae (May & Sep 2020), part of the Conference of Irish Geographers (pre-conference symposium and conference 20-23rd May 2020, Dublin Ireland) and Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers (1st September-4th September 2020 London, England).

The year 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of Mapping Desire edited by David Bell and Gill Valentine. This edited book was the first collection of geographical work on sexuality, and has long played and continues to play a key role in cohering and legitimizing the geographies of sexualities/queer geographies as a distinct subfield within the academic study of Geography (at least within the Anglophone countries of the Minority World).

We believe it is important to acknowledge this anniversary in order to celebrate this ground-breaking work, tracing its influence on subsequent work …

What I Can Bear to Remember about Academic Job Video Interviews

It’s that season again: Skype and Zoom links are being clicked through in email inboxes, along with actual phone numbers being dialed, in order to participate in preliminary academic job interviews. Many friends and colleagues I know and love are aching through the process of those interviews (as well as on-campus interviews–go, peeps, go). I too once carefully created a convincing-enough library behind me, selected my shirt and jacket much more carefully than the pants no one could see under my desk, and tested my Wifi connection about a thousand times while shakily breathing over my Mac. I wished this process would be easier and, eventually, I found it to be easier by approaching the interviews differently and with different preparation techniques. In fact, once I figured out and then took up a handful of practices, I felt a greater sense of trust in myself as a scholar and determined …

Space for Theory III (Nov 2019)

Winter is coming (up north first) so that many among us aim to keep the fires of our minds at full flame. Thus, Space for Theory III will continues the project between UK, UW-Madison, and UMN geography faculty and students to read and discuss theory for theory’s sake. In other words, SfT is a space to read important but less popular / out of vogue theory, without necessarily having to think having to think through how these ideas relate to your work or to the discipline and disciplining of Geography. Registration is now closed but I hope many of you will get to hear about and share from our conversation soon to happen there in further chat to come.

Organized by Jack Gieseking, Arun Saldanha, and Keith Woodward, SfTIII will gather at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis all day on Saturday, November 16th, with time for conversation and other …

Launching A Queer New York Website

A Queer New York MapAfter years of drafting maps and data visualizations, I am finally launching the A Queer New York website. My aim is to represent the breadth of lesbian-queer life. Therefore, while I include the locations and stories of lesbian bars and feminist bookstores, I also map a wide range of places that speaks to the complexity and depth of everyday lesbian-queer experiences.

Click here to see the full in-progress A Queer New York map.

I explain more about the process of making the map on the AQNY site. I’m launching this map now because I believe it’s important to show the wide-range of lesbian and queer places in New York City that were mentioned, advertised, or listed in New York City and national lesbian publications from 1983 to 2008. Lesbian bars are one of the few places to be called “lesbian,” and much of the everyday experience of lesbians …

Upcoming Fall 2018 Talks & Conferences

I am letting go of keeping updates from all of the conferences I attend and talks I give, but I am always eager to connect with others and want to share what lies ahead. If you are unable to attend, please check @jgieseking for tweets from events.

  • Rubbish and Dreams: The Genderqueer Performance Art of Stephen Varble: “The Queer Accumulation of Dispossession: Producing Lesbian and Queer Places in the 1980s” (Paper) – October 19th, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (with NYU), New York City
  • LGBT Studies at the University of Connecticut: “Constellations of Queer History in New York City, 1983-2008” (Paper) – October 25th, Storrs CT
  • National Women’s Studies Association: “Imagining Spaces of Impossible Trans Political and Cultural Resistance” (Paper) – November 8th, Atlanta
  • American Studies Association: “Trans-Cyberian States of Emergency: Race, Gender, and Disability in Digital Trans Studies” (Chair) – November 9th, Atlanta
  • American Studies Association: “

New Publication: Where Are We? The Method of Mapping with GIS in Digital Humanities

I am terrifically honored to have my article, “Where Are We? The Method of Mapping with GIS in Digital Humanities,” in the the new issue of American Quarterly (70.3), “Toward a Critically Engaged Digital Practice: American Studies and the Digital Humanities.” is out! I hope this paper makes inroads between critical GIS as a product of geography and the equally innovative work on GIS in DH.

Research in digital humanities (DH) is at its strongest when interdisciplinary and American Studies makes a space for that sort of work. Edited by Lauren Tilton, Amy Earhart, Matt Delmont, Susan Garfinkel, Jesse P. Karlsberg, and Angel David Nieves and including work from colleagues and/or role models (many of whom I am lucky enough to call friends), I believe that this issue speaks to exciting interventions and contributions. Given that the article is fully open access (bravx to the editors and AQ again!), …

Research Interests

All of my publications are publicly and freely available on my resume & CV page here.

Here are some highlights from my work:

How to Write a Peer Review for a Journal Article

As an editorial collective member of ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies and as someone who once managed WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly for three years, I know how difficult it is to find appropriate and available peer reviewers. I often seek out graduate candidates (ABD students) who would offer that strong expertise but may not have the have reviewed journal articles or many journal articles before. I remember how awkward and nervous I was–and how many, many hours I devoted (oy)–when I wrote my first peer reviews.

Thanks to various search engines, I’ve read quite a few posts on how to write peer reviews. Many of them are written by publishers, peer review corporations (yeeghads!), or from other academics. These are all helpful in that they structure the work of peer review, but I found the former to be too detailed and formal, and then more anxiety-producing …

Joining the University of Kentucky Department of Geography

As of today, I’ve joined the Department of Geography of the University of Kentucky. I am thrilled to be on this new adventure in my work. While I was hired with a focus on digital geographies, I will be still be devoted to my feminist and queer research and teaching. My spring courses will be an introductory undergrad course, Digital Mapping (re-versioned from the pedagogy of Wilson and Zook; how fun), and a grad seminar, Social Geography: Geographies of Queer Theory. The latter will give me a chance to have conversations with geography grad students about how they read the geographies of queer theory. Scholars like C. Riley Snorton (Nebraska, the church), E. Patrick Johnson (the South), Eve Sedgwick (the closet), Ann Cvetkovich (the archive), Michael Warner (publics), Lauren Berlant (the nation), and so on have always put geography forward but with little consideration of geographic thought and theory

New Publication: “Messing with the Attractiveness Algorithm: a Response to Queering Code/Space”

I am utterly pumped to share the pre-print for my article, “Messing with the Attractiveness Algorithm: a Response to Queering Code/Space.” This piece will be part of a 2018 special issue “Queering Code/Space,” edited by  Daniel Cockayne and Lizzie Richardson for Gender, Place and Culture. I’ve only loading this piece to Socarxiv for open access. I was honored to be asked to be a part of this special issue, a follow-up to Dan and Lizzie’s “Queering Code/Space” session at the 2016 AAG in San Francisco. The pieces in the rest of the issue by the editors, Olu Jenzen, Sam Miles, and Carl Bonner-Thompson are great contributions to thinking about the imbrication of queer lives and spaces and the production of code/space. Along with my response to those pieces, I incorporated a failure I have seen in code for over a decade now. Lacking actual access to the vast archives …

Announcing My Book Contract with NYU Press for _A Queer New York_!

I am thrilled to announce that I have signed a contract with NYU Press for my in-progress book, A Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queers, 1983-2008. While a project of urban feminist historical geography, the book will be the first lesbian- and/or queer-specific history of New York City. I am 3/4 through writing the book and hope to have it on the shelves and online open access by the spring of 2019. Hurrah and gayme on!

I provide a brief excerpt from the introduction of book below.

Blue star tattoos. I saw them on the arms of lesbians and queers for as long as I could remember. They marked Brazilians at queer Kreuzberg, Berlin dance parties in 2010, trans Southerners on the Lower East Side, New York City gay bars in 2003, a bisexual woman from Seattle at my New England women’s college in 1998, and …

For Academics: How to Set Up Your Own Website and Why It’s Worth It

Dear Academic Friend,

Over the years, many of you have asked me how to build a website. About eleven years ago, a graduate school friend patiently sat next to me and taught me the ropes using pure HTML. It’s much easier now. If you want a little convincing as to why to do this or want to get firmly rooted on your politics in this, continue reading. If you are already determined to build your own website, click here to skip down. My mantra here: ideas are free; let’s share.

Really, people want to hear about what I do? Let’s begin with the obvious: what you do is important. Wildly important. You may think you are boring, dull, unclear, or talking to your navel, but someone, somewhere needs your work on the lesbian spaces, the history of the lute in 1689, Saharan slavery practices, a rare snail on the …

New Pre-Publication: Operating Anew: Queering GIS with Good Enough Software

I am excited to share the pre-print for my article, “Operating Anew: Queering GIS with Good Enough Software.” This piece will be part of the 2018 special issue “Speculative and Constructively Critical GIS,” edited by  Jim Thatcher, Luke R. Bergmann, David O’Sullivan for The Canadian Geographer / Le Géopgraphe Canadien. Disappointed by SSRN’s purchase by Elsevier, I’m only loading this piece to Socarxiv to see if the downloads are comparable and not support a press that has made so much money from and given so little back to the academic community in comparison.

Download “Operating Anew: Queering GIS with Good Enough Software” here.


In the last decade, conversations around queering of GIScience emerged. Drawing on literature from feminist and queer critical GIS with special attention to the under-examined political economy of GIS, I suggest that the critical project of queering all of GIS, both GIScience and GISystems, requires …

Hiring a Digital Scholarship Coordinator at Trinity College

Trinity College is hiring a Digital Scholarship Coordinator! Please spread the news far and wide — and come work with our fabulous faculty and our incredible students! For more info, click here. Feel free to write me with any questions! I’m excited to meet our new colleague and conspire together on behalf of public humanities, community engagement, open access, and social justice.
Trinity College, located in Hartford CT, seeks to hire a Digital Scholarship Coordinator with expertise in digital methods, concepts, web-based tools, and project development across the divisions. The Coordinator will work with faculty and students to amplify excellent recent work in digital scholarship, and to develop new research projects. The ideal candidate will have completed advanced graduate work, and be well-versed in a liberal arts curriculum. Some teaching of undergraduates will be required to help faculty develop projects with our students, and expand student research opportunities and access

“What’s Queer @ Internet Studies Now?”: Reflections on Queer Internet Studies 2 at UPenn ICA

I had the blissful, joyous experience of co-organizing the second Queer Internet Studies Symposium with my dear friend and colleague, Jessa Lingel (Annenberg UPenn). I framed our opener to the conference as “What’s Queer @ Internet Studies Now?” so that Jessa and I could riff on that state of the field–a field defined by having this very meeting, as our participants told us! This post was originally shared on the UPenn Alice Paul Center website and newsletter. Check out the for posts from other attendees. A special issue on QIS is in the works! Jessa also shared our post on the Microsoft Social Media Collective, where I recently spent a truly fabulous week in the company of Mary Gray, Dan Green, Dylan Mulvey, Tarleton Gillespie, and Nancy Baym at MSRNE in Boston. This was another three year-previous parallel since my visit to Microsoft SMC in 2014 led to …