Week 6 – Reading Week

Week 6 marks ‘Reading Week’ in our University Semester. I usually take this time to do something that isn’t directly related to what I’ve been spending my time with in the first half of the semester, this time I was not lucky enough to break away entirely from my Uni subjects but it was nice to have a break anyway.

 

First on my list was the Global Health Challenge 2017 launch. I was invited back this year to do a talk about Open Ears and my further experiences at the Converge Challenge (read more). I was very proud of this opportunity and I was excited to share my passion with over 100 budding students.

 

To my surprise, it started with a Northern Soul dance session. It was a ‘dance like no one is watching’, in a room of over 100 people. It wasn’t what I expected from an icebreaker but it certainly put me at ease about my presentation later in the day. I had the chance to meet with my Deaf Link sponsors and meet the new team of student who had chosen to combat hearing impairment as their global health topic. The new team called themselves ‘All Ears’ and certainly brought some new ideas to the table. I made sure to jot them all down in my notebook to consider later. It was good making contact with old friends again and to reignite my passion for the project.

Aside from that I attended the ‘Beyond the Binary: Tea With Trans’ event which was organised as part of the Dundee Literary Festival. This was a really powerful thing for me to do as it allowed me to meet people of varied trans identities from Scotland, England and abroad. The first half of the evening consisted of trans individuals reading their personal stories. Some of these made me cry and others were incredibly inspiring. There was a story of a French woman who transitioned in her home country but was disowned by her family, she moved to Scotland and had nothing at all. She moved to a town called Kinlochleven in the Scottish highlands and found a new life there. She spoke of finding a home and how the town has become her new family, she’s also a singer and sang one of her songs, ‘The High Road to Kinlochleven’. I found this story really comforting as it showed that you can overcome extreme circumstances and continue to live a functional life.

The second half of the evening was a cafe setting where cisgender people were invited to talk to transgender people in order to normalise us. I had some powerful conversations, my favourite being with two gay men. We compared our experiences of coming out and the struggles that we face for being LGBTQIA. Unfortunately I feel this section was too short and I only managed to have three real conversations. This event has inspired me to run a similar style of event in the Student Union during LGBT History month in February next year.

The end of the week was wrapped up with my 2000 word dissertation hand in. The initial articles in my ‘Queer Communication’ magazine concerned themselves with telling the story of the LGBT community since the 1950s and explaining some of the symbology that is heavily used. I’m really happy with the layout and visual style of the magazine and I’m enjoying learning about a topic that is so relevant to myself and my friends.

Next week is Project Management week where Chris will teach us how to manage our time and distractions so we are always able to manage our projects well.