Week 15 – Dissertation

My dissertation module, Communication Futures has come to a close. I’ve been working on my dissertation, “Queer Communication” for one semester and I’m really happy with what I have achieved. I have researched and produced a 37-page magazine that covers relevant topics to the Scottish LGBTQ community over the last 70 years. I started by covering the entire timeline of events since 1950, to set the scene and get all my readers onto the same page and with similar levels of knowledge and perspective. One of the aims of the magazine was to help young LGBTQ people gain an idea of the experiences of older people. Sometimes I feel like there can be an overreaction and a constant sense of misery when we should be able to both lament the current issues and also celebrate the amazing things that have been achieved since 1950.

I wrote about the history of the Scottish city of Edinburgh in particular as I envisioned that this magazine would be independently produced and sold in LGBTQ bookshops particularly in Edinburgh. I also value having local knowledge of the cities history, often we can become veryupset by things that take place in other countries that are in completely different circumstances to our own. I also wrote an article detailing some well known and some not well known LGBTQ symbols and icons. This article was planned to have value for LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ people, with the more obscure icons entertaining even myself.

My final article in the magazine was focused on “Section 28“. Section 28 was put into action in 1988 and made “the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities” illegal. This bill caused a large effect on all sorts of places and services across the country. The bill was so vague that it was inconsistently applied and influenced how LGBTQ people were seen in society (if the law prohibits homosexuality then it must be bad.) and even influenced the two party debate in the UK at the time.

Overall the magazine was designed to be read initially by LGBTQ individuals but be open and engaging enough for them to pass it onto a family member or friend as a point of conversation. The message of the magazine was to be understanding about where you’ve come from so you can be better informed about the current situation. Many young LGBTQ people are often very defensive of their identity but if you look even just 10 years ago why it becomes much clearer why this attitude still exists today. Researching this topic really has helped to give me more of a background on how humans can express their personal and social identities and it is a strong piece of writing for many people to refer to in the future.