Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Stacey Hannem

Advisor Role



As literature and media findings suggest, the relationship between the LGTBQ+ community and the police is complex. This qualitative research study seeks to better understand the relationship between the Ruralcity LGTBQ+ community and the Ruralcity Police Service in a small city in southwestern Ontario—“Ruralcity”. Through the epistemological lens of symbolic interactionism and the critical approach of queer theory, I gathered the perspectives of five Ruralcity LGTBQ+ participants on the local police, including the kinds of interactions the participants have had with the police and how the police presence and absence at Ruralcity PRIDE events impact the participants’ sense of well-being. The participants emphasized the controversy surrounding the police removal from PRIDE, while providing recommendations for how local police regarding might develop a positive partnership with the LGTBQ+ community. Results from this study suggest that intersectionality and positionality play a significant role in the way an LGTBQ+ person perceives the police and the policing organization. Patriarchy and heteronormativity remain prevalent in systemic societal structures and institutions, contributing to oppression and discrimination against those who fall outside of the margins of privilege. This research adds to the academic literature on LGTBQ+ relationships with police by exploring the situation in Ruralcity, as the experiences of less urban LGTBQ+ communities with police are commonly overlooked, incorporating a different dimension to our understanding. Future research requires a more representative sample of the LGTBQ+ population with intersecting identities. Further, investigating the perceptions of privileged LGTBQ+ persons and marginalized LGTBQ+ persons is essential to understanding the root causes of the policing system’s systemic discrimination and structured violence against LGTBQ+ persons. Moreover, additional research focusing on the Ruralcity Police Service is vital to understanding their perspective on local LGTBQ+ matters.

Convocation Year