As Pride Month draws to a close, the Special Interest Group on LGBTQ+ Issues in Linguistics would like to recognize and celebrate the rising stars of both our community and our discipline. From new PhDs to Institute Fellows, please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ linguists at the LSA.


Dr. E. Cameron Wilson, she/her/hers and they/them/their 

Dr. Kirby Conrod

Congratulations to Dr. Wilson for receiving their doctorate in linguistics from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in September 2018!

Dr. Kirby Conrod, they/them/their

Congratulations to Dr. Kirby Conrod for receiving their doctorate in linguistics from the University of Washington this Spring! Dr. Kirby Conrod is a sociosyntactician working on incorporating sociolinguistic techniques and insights into theories of generative syntax in the Minimalist Program. They received their PhD in Linguistics from the University of Washington, where they wrote their dissertation looking at gender in English pronouns using sociolinguistic and pragmatic data, especially looking at emergent uses of singular they. Kirby lives in Seattle with their spouse Hayden and their cat Toes.

Dr. Conrod's dissertation explores third person pronouns in English from a syntactic and sociolinguistic perspective; using evidence from complex pronoun constructions and from an ongoing language change around singular use of they, they propose a new underlying syntactic
structure of pronouns.

Kirby was also a part of the LSA’s recent webinar, available here, “Linguistic Society of America Webinar on LGBTQ+ Perspectives in Linguistics”.

Recognizing LGBTQ+  Linguistics Institute Fellows

Kang (Franco) Liu

Kang (Franco) Liu, Ivan Sag Linguistic Institute Fellow

Pomona College, he/him/his

Franco is a rising senior in Linguistics at Pomona College, whose main research interests include syntactic and morphological theory, language documentation, and specifically documenting and analyzing the syntactic/morphosyntactic phenomena in languages of West Kenya. He recently wrapped up his first fieldwork experience in Mahanga, Kenya, where he documented select grammatical constructions in Lutirichi that will contribute to a comprehensive grammatical sketch of the language, and conducted elicitations for his upcoming thesis project on the information structure constraints on object marking in Lutirichi.


deandre miles-hercules

deandre miles-hercules

UC Santa Barbara, they/them/their

deandre miles-hercules is a Black queer non-binary transfemme and PhD student in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California Santa Barbara. Their research focuses on language as a nexus for the enactment of race, gender, and sexuality in the domains of social identity and power. Specifically, deandre is interested in mixed-method modeling of the linguistic terrain of Black femme-ininity and developing culturally sustaining English language arts pedagogies for secondary schooling spaces. They are originally from Cheverly, Maryland, and obtained a B.A. (2018) in Linguistics with minors in Anthropology and African-American Studies from Emory University. deandre has been a Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship recipient, NSF-REU program participant (the Ohio State University), Smithsonian Science Education Center intern, and is a duly initiated member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Their work has been especially lauded in the form of Emory’s Award for Excellence in the Study of Linguistics, Modupe Dayo Civic Engagement Award, and Outstanding Junior in Anthropology Award. deandre recently finished their first year at UCSB and is the president of the Black Graduate Student Association in addition to a program mentor for the Increasing Diversity in the Linguistic Sciences through Research on Language and Social Mobility program, which jointly funded by the National Science Foundation and UC-HBCU Initiative and co-directed by Dr. Anne Charity-Hudley and Dr. Mary Bucholtz. In their spare time, deandre enjoys watching anime, doing yoga, loving freely, and kindling revolution.


Lewis Esposito

Lewis Esposito

Stanford University, he/him/his

Lewis is a rising third-year PhD student in the Department of Linguistics at Stanford University. He completed his BA in Linguistics & Languages at Swarthmore College in 2016. He is primarily interested in sociolinguistic variation and change at the level of sound and the role that social meaning plays in these processes. His research has examined the role of affect in governing gender and sexuality-based variation for phrase-final lengthening, and he has collaborated with Chantal Gratton (Stanford) in a project on prosodic variation among fitness instructors. Currently, he and Emily Lake (Stanford) are exploring the extent to which tensing of the BEG and BAG vowels, stereotypical features of the Pacific Northwest, are present in California. 

Secondary interests are in semantics, pragmatics, and their interactions with social meaning. He's currently pursuing experimental work on the socio-pragmatic potential of English indefinites and non-culminating accomplishment verbs in Mandarin. 



Bryce McCleary

Bryce McCleary

Oklahoma State University, he/him/his

Bryce E McCleary is finishing his last year in the PhD program in Sociolinguistics at Oklahoma State University. He has worked on the Research on Dialects of English in Oklahoma Project, focusing on queer Oklahomans and including a language attitude component that addresses their regard towards language, life, and culture in the state. This work found that gay Oklahomans often find themselves between a rock and a hard place concerning the styles of speech they use and the expected consequences for them in a place like Oklahoma. It also found that elicitation conditions played a significant role in the alignment or distancing of respondents to gay and/or Oklahoma related styles.  Currently he is conducting an ethnographic and acoustic investigation of drag performers in Oklahoma City, for which he was awarded the American Dialect Society's Presidential Honorary Membership. His work has its roots in folk linguistics but draws from sociocultural and queer linguistic approaches, particularly concerning identity. This culminates in a new set of methodological and analytical commitments to such work: queer folk linguistics. This new approach is outlined in his dissertation work and is a central part of his current (and planned) projects. He has current projects concerning voice quality as a component of stance taking and to signal speaker switch in quotative speech, as well as popularization of AAL-related forms on Twitter. In addition to Bryce's research, he also served 4 years as Editorial Assistant for Cambridge UP's Journal of Linguistic Geography and has recently been made Associate Editor.

Tyler Kibbey

Tyler Kibbey

University of Kentucky, he/him/his

Tyler Kibbey is a master’s student in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Kentucky and co-convener of the LSA Special Interest Group on LGBTQ+ Issues in Linguistics. His work applies Conceptual Metaphor Theory to religious language and ideology with the aim of mitigating anti-LGBTQ+ religious violence. His recent work has also explored the moral responsibilities of linguists beyond the descriptivist framework. For his work with the LSA’s LGBTQ+ Special Interest Group, he was awarded the Tennessee LGBTQ+ College Conference Award for Advancing LGBTQ+ Issues in Academia in his home state. At the 2019 Linguistic Institute, Tyler will be co-leading a workshop titled “Advancing LGBTQ+ Issues in Linguistics and Beyond: Outreach and Advocacy” with Lal Zimman. He was also recently profiled by the Linguist List regarding his work in addressing religious violence through the application of cognitive linguistic science.