Capstone Project (Open Access)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Humanities & Communication
This is a collection of short stories based off of real trauma that LGBTQ+ individuals have experienced. I have interviewed seven people who identify within the LGBTQ+ community and listened to their traumatic stories. Based on their stories, I have written their accounts with trauma while expanding and taking creative freedom to better enunciate and bring-forth their stories. Trauma affects the LGBTQ+ community at a greater height than it does the general population. It’s important to recognize this fact so that we can support those people who have faced tremendous adversity in the form of trauma. In one form or another, it’s apparent that everyone suffers from trauma. Of course some are much worse than others, but it’s a universal thing that we as people all can understand and connect with. We see that minority groups tend to have a higher percentage of people within that group that have experienced trauma than that of the general population, yet we do nothing to aid them. With my project I hope to enlighten folks about what is being experienced while allowing these queer individuals to have a voice. Getting stories out there is important because people can’t help and people can’t change if they don’t know what is happening. Choosing to do a creative project rather than a research paper was a deliberate choice as to better reflect the realness of the traumas that people face. Stories add a personal touch and allow a deeper connection with the audience. It’s not just a list of facts and events. I feel that it is more meaningful to write stories for this specific topic than it would have been to write a research essay both for me and for the audience. Our senior capstone class was titled Trauma and Healing. My project directly connects to our class because our class is about trauma, and my project is about trauma. In the class we looked at various types of trauma and who is affected by them. We discussed philosophical and creative ways in which communication can alleviate trauma. We also explored how our own identities have a relationship with trauma. By listening to these queer individuals speak they were allowed a platform on which to be honest. By writing their stories down it enabled them to have their experiences out there. As a person who identifies within the LGBTQ+ community, I felt that in our class studies and discussions queer representation was completely absent. I wanted to give queer people a voice and also show to the general population the traumas that we go through collectively and individually. Since living in California for five years I have seen that many people are over the whole “gay rights” thing because the climate here is so liberal. But California being a bubble, many people don’t see that there are still lots of issues that affect the LGBTQ+ Community. My project reflects the importance of knowing the traumas queer people face in society.
Guckenberg, Holden, "Traumatic Experiences Through the Queer Lens" (2019). Capstone Projects and Master's Theses. 597.