Sociologist and Qualitative Consultant


I am a sociologist with a PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison specializing in Sexualities, Medical Sociology, Race and Ethnicity, Urban Sociology, Social Psychology, Qualitative Methods, and Social Theory. I am co-founder and partner of Qualitative Health Research Consultants, LLC and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

My current project focuses on Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), community barriers to the intervention, and the potential to exacerbate/alleviate existing HIV racial disparities through the lens of sexual racism and fundamental cause theory. 

My book, Boystown, is in press with University of Chicago Press for Fall 2016. Based on three years of ethnography in Chicago’s gay neighborhood, Boystown  examines the importance of sex to queer communities. Boystown is trading its radical sexual culture for normality, transforming into a “gay disneyland” through heritage commodification by business owners. The “sexy communities” that embody radical sexuality foster racial diversity by building sexual kinship through ritual moments of collective effervescence, what I call “naked intimacy.” Boystown is about the power of sex to connect across racial boundaries, the commodification of gay male culture, and the “intersectional knot” that supports respectability. I wrote Boystown in a creative nonfiction style that allows sociologists, their students, and lay readers to learn from Boystown’s queer lessons.

I am also lead author on a co-authored textbook on qualitative methods, An Invitation to Qualitative Fieldwork, published with Routledge. Unlike many qualitative methods books, we bridge the “how-to” and “why-to” with exercises to actually show how to create key documents like interview guides and practice skills like participant observation. We focus on the interacting logics within projects: the voice of participants, the voice of the academic community, and the researcher’s voice.

I use these exercises and frameworks to consult on research projects through my firm, Qualitative Health Research Consultants. I’ve consulted on NIH-funded clinical trials, research scientist improvement awards, demonstration grants, and pilot studies. Please use the email on the Contact page if you’d like to set up a consult for study design, collection, or analysis of qualitative data.  

As scholar of identity management, my theory of strategic outness–the continual contextual management of queer identity–is a sociological alternative to developmental coming out theories. The latest articulations can be found in Sexualities and The Sociological Quarterly