Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


MaryBeth Walpole, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Dan Strasser, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Shawn M. Hoke, Ph.D.


Gay college students; Gay men, Black


Higher Education


The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of undergraduate Black gay men who use hook up and dating apps while attending predominantly White colleges and universities. In using intersectionality as my theoretical framework, I was able to discover the essence of the experiences that Black gay men face while using these platforms. Intersectionality assisted the study in identifying the systems of privilege and oppression that are present for Black gay men, specifically when attempting to date within the LGBTQ+ community (Cho et al., 2013; Collins, 2015; Garcia & Ortiz, 2013). Through this framework I additionally began to understand that the multiple identities that Black gay men have are not viewed separately, but more so as intersecting (Collins, 2015; Harris & Patton, 2019). This study contributed to current research by revealing commonalities that Black gay students face when attempting to date at PWIs. The findings of this study indicated that through the use of hook up and dating apps undergraduate Black gay men experience racism and fetishism frequently. Other themes emerged in the study as prominent such as making friends with benefits and colorism, but every theme was associated with discrimination on the basis of race or fetishism in some form. This study shows the importance of creating an inclusive social environment for marginalized students that extends beyond the academic setting.