In this essay, I uncover the ways in which the non-binary gender community challenges what we know about privacy and reciprocity within community engaged work. Using my experience as a program coordinator for an LGBTQ youth center, I illustrate the myriad of privacy needs of non-binary gender teens and young adults who expect to be simultaneously both public and private in their online writing on Tumblr. I argue that for the non-binary gender community on Tumblr, direct contact from the researcher not only may invade their intimate space but also cause physical or emotional harm as many non-binary Tumblr users are underage and participating on Tumblr in secret. Instead, I demonstrate how the study of non-binary gender literacy practices can be done without engaging with or quoting directly from publicly published content, instead favoring an emergent thematic methodology. Additionally, I make a case for a queer methodology which instead seeks to recruit participants in the real world and be invited into their digital community once trust and reciprocity is established should interviews be important for further study.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 65-71
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2020
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.