Document Type


Publication Date



Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies


Jessica Harkins, English


This project seeks to examine the effects of language on readers’ perspectives of same-sex and opposite-sex relationships. I interviewed 13 people at various stages of romantic relationships and told their stories from the first-person perspective. By only using the gender-neutral first-person pronoun “I” and gendered pronouns for the speakers’ partners, each story creates ambiguity about the type of relationship (whether same- or opposite-sex) featured. By doing so, I am asking readers to view each couple as just that—a couple. Not a gay couple, a lesbian couple, or a straight couple. I am challenging all of us to examine what phrases such as “love is love” really mean and to read the experiences of romantic relationships equally.