American Studies ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-18-2020


Greenwich Village is a so-called “gayborhood” that accepts and welcomes LGBT people. However, Greenwich Village has been undergoing gentrification for the past few decades, and this process exists due to a police-created order of violence that subjugates and displaces queer people and people of color. This order seeks to create a space that is friendly to capital and wealth.

Resistance to these strategies requires tactics that do not necessarily hew to mainstream methods of getting a message out, such as using mainstream media to make a case against gentrification. These often fail, as they will fall on deaf ears of those who seek to create this order in the first place. Instead, I argue that social movements must rely on what Lena Carla Palacios calls “outlaw vernacular discourse,” expressed through what I argue is a form “outlaw media.”

This thesis will examine two examples of outlaw media, a 2001 documentary film produced by the queer youth activist group Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment (FIERCE), which looked at the destruction and rebuilding of the Christopher Street piers in Greenwich Village. The other example uses flyers and documents from the HIV/AIDS activist group ACT-UP NYC, who were attempting to fight then-mayor Rudy Giuliani’s policing strategies.




Gentrification, Queerness, New York, Greenwich Village

Document Type


Degree Name

American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

American Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

David Correia

Second Committee Member

Amy L. Brandzel

Third Committee Member

Jennifer Tucker