ABSTRACT

Widespread technological advances, coupled with social and political success by the LGBTQ rights movement in the decades following the Stonewall uprising in 1969, have resulted in a dramatic evolution in the queer community. But increases in visibility, acceptance, and assimilation of queers into mainstream culture and cultural institutions have been accompanied by mainstream gentrification of formerly queer neighborhoods, more specialized social alternatives to bars and bookstores, and diminished interest in and audiences for niche-appeal media. At the same time, other institutions in the LGBTQ community, including the queer civic and fraternal organization The Court, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), social media platforms such as Grindr, and online journalism cites such as Towleroad have become destination sites for many in cyberspace. In this article, I argue that social network theory (SNT) offers efficacy in both explaining and predicting institutional success in the evolving queer community and that queers, regardless of age, location, and relationship status, will affiliate with institutions that offer them to potential for the accumulation of social capital.