Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Criminology and Criminal Justice

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Dr. Marisa Omori


Dr. Marisa Omori

Dr. Lee Ann Slocum

Dr. Samantha Simon

Dr. Matthew Ball


Research has suggested that queer people may be more likely than their cisgender heterosexual counterparts to use substances. Largely, these higher rates are commonly explained through frameworks of victimization or (ab)use that render substance use as a form of coping or inherently problematic. While some queer people do use substances to cope, the social spaces, places, and contexts in which use often occurs are often obscured or ignored. More recently, contemporary queer criminologists have explored queer substance use and have considered how it is intimately linked to social space, place, identity formation, and community building. This dissertation draws from queer criminological approaches to theorize and develop the idea of social spaces and places. In particular, it explores how queer people define and create social spaces and places, how social spaces and places shape identity formation, and how social spaces and places are imbued with substances. To investigate, 49 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with self-identified queer people who have used substances or frequented queer social spaces to examine the intersection of social place, contexts, substance use, and queer identity formation. As such, it is argued that social spaces and places can be distinguished, imbued with identities, messy, and crucial sites for substance use and identity formations through use.

Included in

Criminology Commons