First Advisor

Leni Zumas

Term of Graduation

Fall 2022

Date of Publication


Document Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing







Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 80 pages)


Rush is a novel that follows Matteo and Xóchitl, two LGBT Latine teens, as they navigate their first years at a small town university, and try to untangle themselves from the web of a sinister fraternity. The thesis herein represents the first section of the first volume, of what is to be a three section novel. While conceptualized as part of a duology, only the first novel has been mapped in full.

"Section One: Super Tuesday" serves as an introduction to the main cast of characters, the setting, themes, the primary conflict, as well as the plot and subplot. The story is told in alternating first person POV with Xóchitl and Matteo being our primary characters. Occasionally, the narrative will explore the POV of Glenn, Brad, Chris, and Scout.

The setting is UC Davis in the year 2007 and the story begins during the first week of fall quarter. In the first section Matteo and Xóchitl reunite after falling out of touch a year prior. From here we go back and forth between the two characters as they reacquaint themselves with each other and push one another to really consider their identities: Matteo of that of an assimilated first generation queer Latino with dreams of capitalistic success, and Xóchitl of that of an Afro-Latina Trans woman with strong political beliefs and cultural identity. However, the primary conflict finds the two working together to avoid being criminalized after accidentally murdering an abusive acquaintance.

The story explores themes of colonialism, white supremacy, assimilation vs cultural pride, neoliberalism, homonationalism, queer adolescence, restorative justice, and radical liberation. My goal with Rush is to explore the issues many first generation LGBT Latines experience while remaining fun, entertaining, and thrilling.


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This thesis is only available to students, faculty and staff at PSU.

Persistent Identifier