Online spaces play crucial roles in the lives of most LGBTQ+ people, but can also replicate and exacerbate existing intracommunity tensions and power dynamics, potentially harming subgroups within this marginalized community. Using qualitative probes and interviews, we engaged a diverse group of 25 bi+ (attracted to more than one gender) people to explore these dynamics. We identify two types of intracommunity conflict that bi+ users face (validity and normative conflicts), and a resulting set of what we call latent harms, or coping strategies for dealing with conflict that have delayed negative psychological effects for bi+ users. Using intersectionality as a sensitizing concept to understand shifting power dynamics embedded in sociotechnical contexts, we discuss challenges for future design work including the need to account for intracommunity dynamics within marginalized groups and the utility of disentangling conflict from harm.
Ashley Marie Walker and Michael Ann DeVito. 2020. “‘More gay’ fits in better”: Intracommunity Power Dynamics and Harms in Online LGBTQ+ Spaces. Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1–15. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3313831.3376497