data and supported by content analysis of both slash writing and material features of two
online fanfiction platforms, Archive of Our Own (AO3) and fanfiction.net (FFN). Findings
contribute to theoretical development concerning information creation and information
world-building in queer contexts.
Library and Information Science (LIS) research focused on queer (or LGBT, LGTBQþ)
individuals’information behaviors and practices often concentrates on interactions with
information communication technologies (ICTs), especially search engines and social media.
Queer individuals’use of ICTs can be shaped by socio-cultural and individualized
affordances and constraints (Kitzie, 2018) that make interactions highly variable and
nuanced. ICTs can facilitate identity construction, community-building, expanded definitions
of sexual and gender categories, and information seeking activities concerning health,
romance, and identities (e.g. Cooper and Dzara, 2010;Cover, 2018;Fox and Ralston, 2016;
DeHann et al., 2013;Yeh, 2008).
However, these systems also include harmful attributes such as context collapse (Duguay,
2016); unequal access among individuals with different economic, racial, and gendered
backgrounds (Pascoe, 2011); harassment and bullying (Hoffman, 2017;Powell et al., 2018);
and algorithmic inequities (Keyes, 2018). Major social media platforms are embedded with
oppressive discourses (Noble, 2018) that often misalign with queer individuals’and
communities’more localized needs (Lingel and Golub, 2015). Thus, neoliberal ideals
surrounding ICTs and democratization are often unmet for members of marginalized
populations (Noble, 2018), including queer individuals (Haimson and Hoffman, 2016). Related
to these problems, resources found through ICTs may perpetuate stereotypes and other
inaccurate information regarding the identities they claim to represent (Blanco-Ruiz and
Sanz-de-Baranda, 2018). In addition to ICTs, other information resources studied in LIS,
including classification systems (Adler, 2012;Drabinski, 2013), library collections (Chapman
and Birdi, 2016) and resources found in institutions such as libraries (Mehra and Braquet,
2006) may erase or misrepresent queerness.
These shortcomings may cause queer individuals to engage with less formal information
resources to meet their identity-related information needs and desires. For example, some
queer individuals use entertainment media (EM), which can be broadly defined as fiction and
creative non-fiction content, as resources related to their identity work and validation (Floegel
and Costello, 2019). However, EM interactions can also be highly problematic given that EM
perpetuates symbolic violence through negative, monolithic, and inaccurate representations
of queer people and experiences (e.g. Allen, 2017;Capuzza and Spencer, 2017;Rodriguez,
2019). Symbolic violence describes systems of power that social structures, including media
industries, impose on people who may be complicit or unaware of their participation in these
systems (Bourdieu and Waquant, 1992). While EM can serve as vital resources for queer
people, content still reinforces their marginalization when it perpetuates stigmatized
depictions of queer events, individuals, and contexts (Gross, 1991;Kama, 2002).
However, exclusively focusing on queer people’s problematic information interactions
fuels deficit models that highlight queer individuals’marginalization at the expense of the
agency they may express with alternate practices (Greyson, 2018;Illet, 2019). Individuals may
use artistic creation to address gaps in their information practices (Gorichanaz, 2018) and
form personally meaningful information resources (Hartel, 2010). Research suggests that to
compensate for and reclaim cis/heteronormative narratives, some queer individuals engage
in EM creation based on their own lived experiences (Floegel and Costello, 2019).
To date, information practice literature rarely considers creation. Scholarship examines
practices that surround people’s creative endeavors (e.g. Hill and Pecoskie, 2017;Harlan,