Our Faculty

Jason Whitesel

Assistant Professor

Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Women's and Gender Studies

  • @New York City
    41 Park Row 5th fl., Rm. 511 'I'
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New York City


Jason Whitesel (Ph.D., Ohio State University) is a Women's & Gender Studies faculty member at Pace University. His research focuses on gay men's rigid body image ideal and the resulting intragroup strife among them. His book, Fat Gay Men: Girth, Mirth, and the Politics of Stigma (NYUP, 2014), describes events at Girth & Mirth club gatherings and examines how big gay men use campy-queer behavior to reconfigure and reclaim their sullied images and identities.


PhD , Sociology, Ohio State University , 2009

BA , Psychology, Purdue University , 1996

Awards and Honors

  • Pace University, 2016 - LGBTQA Educator of the Year
  • The Advocate, 2015 - A “Must-Read LGBT Book" Author


Whitesel, J. (2018). "Big Gay Men's Performative Protest against Body Shaming: The Case of Girth and Mirth. " In Christina Bobel and Samantha Kwan (Eds.), Body Battlegrounds: Transgressions, Tensions, Transformations (forthcoming). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.

Whitesel, J. (2017). "Gay Men's Use of Online Pictures in Fat-Affirming Groups. " In L. Ayu Saraswati, Barbara Shaw, and Heather Rellihan (Eds.), Introduction to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Approaches (pages 500-508). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Whitesel, J. (2017). "Intersections of Multiple Oppressions: Racism, Sizeism, Ableism, and the 'Illimitable Etceteras' in Encounters with Law Enforcement. " Sociological Forum. Vol 32 (Issue 2) , pages 426-433.

Whitesel, J. (2017). “The Disruptive Power of Social/Queer/Fat/Human/Countercultural Junk. " MELK: A Queer Cultural Magazine. Vol 4 , pages 52-61.

Whitesel, J. & Shuman, A. (2016). "Discursive Entanglements, Diffractive Readings: Weight-Loss-Surgery Narratives of Girth & Mirthers. " Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society. Vol 5 (Issue 1) , pages 32-56.

Whitesel, J. & Shuman, A. (2016). "Social Smoking: An Untenable Position. " In Patricia and Peter Adler (Eds.), Constructions of Deviance: Social Power, Context, and Interaction, 8th ed. (pages 559-572). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Whitesel, J. (2014). Fat Gay Men: Girth, Mirth, and the Politics of Stigma. New York, NY: NYU Press.

Grants, Sponsored Research and Contracts

Whitesel, J. (2015). Community Capacity-Building Efforts in a Nonprofit Organization for Older Gay Men: A Case Study of the Prime Timers.
The Helene & Grant Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellowship . Funded,*2015-2017. The objectives of the study are as follows: 1) to learn about older gay/bisexual men's or their admirers' understanding of their masculinity as they grow older; 2) to learn how they construct their sexuality; and 3) to determine in what ways the Prime Timers club helps its members weather the stigma of ageism and provides them with strategies and resources for managing that stigma.


  • Brothaspeak Podcast: Black LGBT Issues & Topics [Internet], August 2017
    “You're FAT! (Fabulous And Thick): Big Boyz with Pride.” Interview with C. Gadson.
  • Queerty [Magazine], February 2016
    "Author Calls Out Gay Men for Fat-Shaming & Negative Body Talk." Interview with G. Gremore.
  • Racial Democracy, Crime & Justice Network News [Internet], April 2015
    "Fat Gay Men and Female Ex-Prisoners: Jason Whitesel & Andrea Leverentz's Books Explore Social Stigma and the Struggle for 'Normality' & Respect." Interview with S. Arnold.
  • Thinking Allowed on BBC Radio 4 [Radio], December 2014
    "Fat Gay Men Resisting the Stigma." Interview with L. Taylor.
  • Slate [Magazine], August 2014
    "Big Gay Pals: The Troubles and Triumphs of Fat Gay Men." Book Review by M. Stern.


  • Committee on Scholarly Research [Grant Proposal Reviewer, Internal]
  • Queer Society Student Organization [Faculty Advisor]
  • Queer Studies Minor [Faculty Advisor]
  • Wilson Center Faculty Steering Committee [Grant Proposal Reviewer, Internal]
  • Middle States Assessment for the WGS Department [Program Coordinator]
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