Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education


International & Multicultural Education EdD

First Advisor

David Donahue

Second Advisor

Susan Katz

Third Advisor

Emma Fuentes


The purpose of this study was to identify and explore how curricula in queer studies at Community College of the Bay (CCB) reflect and ignore the lived experiences of Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (QTBIPOC) by engaging queer studies students as co-researchers in virtual participatory action research (VPAR). This research utilized the frameworks of Queer of Color Analysis (QOCA) (Ferguson, 2004; McCready, 2013), critical whiteness (Baldwin, 1984; Du Bois, 1903), anti-oppressive education (Kumashiro, 2001), and intersectional theory (Crenshaw, 1989), to examine the experiences of QTBIPOC within queer studies in community college classrooms. The following meta-question guided this research: “How do students describe their experiences in queer courses at CCB?” The data sources included self-reflective VPAR journals by each of the 12 co-researchers, 15 interviewee transcripts, demographic surveys, assignments, and the Final: VPAR Paper and Reflection. A significant finding in this VPAR study was identifying examples of whiteness in queer studies along with ways to disrupt white privilege. Even when race is not explicitly addressed, it is still being reinforced (Kumashiro, 2002). We see this through the interrogation of white privilege and whiteness assessed in our study. For example, Myung-Soon critiqued that the institution of education is still “a white system,” he named the need to have fewer white cismale readings in curricula and therefore stated the need for more QTBIPOC authors in the curricula. Caius appreciated how her queer studies iv courses at CCB went beyond the “queer white perspective.” Another vital finding was the explicit requests for more inclusion of QTBIPOC histories and experiences in queer studies showcasing an example of how queer studies can improve. Myung-Soon, Caius, Edilberto, and Gohan provided examples of colonial erasure connected to their racial identity. Our VPAR study assessed the need for engaging in the rediscovery of histories thought to be lost entirely. Lastly, another important finding of this study was the importance of centering intersectional theory in queer studies, and that race cannot be separated from intersectional theory. To surmise, after collecting and analyzing all the data to answer the question posed in the title of this dissertation, “What’s race got to do it?” simply put, the answer is everything.