Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Jeff Pruchnic

Second Advisor

Donnie Sackey


Though composition studies has increasingly studied writing spaces outside of the classroom and workplace, LGBTQ+ community writing groups have received little focus in composition research. This dissertation studies four LGBTQ+ community writing groups across North America to find why people choose to join these groups and how power and conflict function in these spaces. I argue that LGBTQ+ writing groups improve writing and offer emotional support, friendship, and community, as other writing groups do, but these particular spaces also provide group members with opportunities to improve one’s self, publish, and educate the community about LGBTQ+ issues. I also find that these LGBTQ+ writing groups produce spaces to write about and explore queerness, which non-identity writing groups do not provide. Moreover, I argue that these groups are not wholly harmonious and non-hierarchical as writing group research indicates. While facilitators attempt to equally distribute power within these groups, even community writing groups never can fully dissolve power structures. In this chapter, I suggest using Ratcliffe’s rhetorical listening as a way to understand and even negotiate power in these groups. Rhetorical listening has been used in the composition classroom (Cui, 2019; Ratcliffe, 2005; Reda, 2009), but through an infographic, I assert that it can be used in classroom and writing center writing groups to negotiate conflicts and even unify groups.