STUDENT SAMPLE – Boy? Girl? Lesbian? A Confusing Path to Self-Discovery

(Sample Student Project) A Confusing Path to Self Discovery

AMY’S NOTE: Joanie composed the project using Comic Life, a downloadable app for both Mac and Windows that has a free trial period and is very easy to use.

Comic Strip by Joanie (WRTG 3020 – Spring 2011)


My target audience for this personal narrative is any college student interested in gender and sexuality. This project is aimed at college students because I feel they will be able to relate to my story the best. However, younger teenagers who are struggling with their own self discovery may also be interested in this story as an insight into what similarities and/or differences other people have experienced.

My comic strip displays each segment of my life up until the present. I originally was only going to show segments of my life up until middle school. After careful consideration I decided that it would be more beneficial for audiences of my own age and younger to see how the story ends. This way it is easier for other college students to compare the story to their own lives and for younger students to get some insight into how their own stories or the stories of their peers may unfold around them.

By displaying each time period individually I am hoping that other students can look at my story and make easy comparisons to what their lives were like during that stage. For younger students looking at my project I hope to convey a message that growing up and discovering who you are is often a very hard and confusing time. I want these students to know that almost everyone goes through some type of internal struggle at some point and that this is a natural and normal process. I chose to use the comic strip format because I wanted this story to be represented in a light hearted and fun manner. Although, the story covers some serious topics I believe is can be better appreciated and is more realistic to my own viewpoint when displayed in a fun way.

My personal narrative shows that most of what I learned about sex and gender was from my parents and my peers. I changed myself and my ideas of what I should or shouldn’t be liked based on the actions of those around me. As a child and adolescent one of the most important things for most people is fitting in with their peers. Even if we are not consciously aware of our struggle to fit in it is generally there. I was very surprised to discover this about myself. I do not usually think about my childhood as a struggle to be “normal”. However, when looking back I see that this was a much bigger influence on my life then I had previously thought. After viewing my classmate’s personal narratives I was surprised to see that many of them had similar experiences to mine. This gives me encouragement that an audience outside of our class will find meaning in my personal narrative.