PhD Creative Writing
I feel as though I’ve always been shy, but there has certainly been a progression in myself. The person I am now is nowhere near the person I was back then. I’m so much more confident with who I am and the university setting has, in a way, allowed me to gain the voice I thought I never had. I’m able to speak about my opinions in this environment and to have that received in such a positive way is humbling. I’ve always trusted in my intelligence, but had insecurity about it at the same time. Undergoing my study has reassured me that I do have a voice and it’s important for me to have one.
What drives me most about my research is raising the voice of the queer community. I’ve always been interested in exploring diversity and I’m stumped by this idea that if you don’t fit within a certain mould, you are considered different and, often times, are discriminated against because of this. It really makes you consider ‘what is normal?’ and the assumptions surrounding that. I myself have fallen victim to this ‘othering’ because of my uniqueness. But, if there were any piece of advice that I would give to my younger self, it would be to own your weirdness and to love that aspect of yourself.
As I mentioned before, I have always been a bit reserved, and as I reflect back on my high school experience I was the typical quiet girl. In saying that, I eventually found my place and became this massive music nerd. My friends and I would always go out to these gigs every Friday night. I cannot emphasise enough in saying that we were the biggest fangirls back then, to the point where some of us would write fan fiction and even stalk our favourite musicians on social media, in hopes of getting recognised. It was a lot of hard work, you know, and I have the biggest respect for any fangirl out there. I won’t drop any names of the bands we admired to save myself the embarrassment, but let’s just say there were quite a few local names.
Interview conducted by Tanner Muller
Image supplied by Oliver White