Graduation Date

12-2016

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department or Program

Graduate Humanities

Department or Program Chair

Joan Baranow, Ph.D.

First Reader

Carlos Rodriguez, M.A.

Second Reader

Joan Baranow, Ph.D.

Abstract

This paper is a mix of research and personal narrative exploring the impact of television, film, and online media on identity formation. I look specifically at my own identity as a queer person and how it has been shaped by what I have seen and experienced as a young queer and as an educator. Topics discussed include homophobia in the classroom and workplace, the impact of social media on youth development and identity formation, and our changing culture as queer visibility increases. This piece is primarily a personal reflection that runs from early childhood to adulthood. It addresses social interactions that I have had with coworkers, family, peers, and students around queer identity both explicitly and implicitly. Ultimately, it concludes that while significant social progress has been made in terms of the treatment and perception of queer persons within western society, there is still a need for change.

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