STUDENT SAMPLE – And Then Came Fireworks

Sometimes surprising things happen when you kiss another woman.

Audio Essay by Nicolette (WRTG 3020 – Spring 2011)

Rhetorical Analysis
My target audience for this project is other students who are interested in topics concerning gender and sexuality. Whether at the beginning or end of their college careers, I wanted to make this piece less formal and more personal. I took this into account while writing and recording, with some pop culture references and colloquialisms throughout the narrative. The main purpose in writing this piece was simply to share my story and thoughts concerning sexuality and its ambiguity. Rather than asserting a specific identity, I wanted to share my lack of understanding of where I fit and the feedback I have gotten from others, both in and out of the GLBT community, regarding my lifestyle.

The overall goal is essentially to tell others that it is okay to be unsure of one’s labels, and maybe labels aren’t needed at all to have an enriched life. This could perhaps reach people who are going through the similar confusion I was and help them in their path to self identification. What is a little different about my personal narrative is that it doesn’t necessarily end with a definitive statement regarding gender and sexuality roles. It is open ended because my narrative is still in the process of being understood by even me. I reflect on the idea that perhaps a label, though a comfort to many, is isolating to others, myself included.

While writing this narrative, I found myself unsure of my direction. Initially thinking I was going to assert a non-conformist lesbian identity, I came to the conclusion that I don’t necessarily want to adopt a specific label for myself. I am very open about being involved with women in a romantic sense and feel little need to place a specific label on that. It’s not an assertion to how others should live their lives but rather my own conclusion for my life. It is for this reason I thoroughly enjoyed looking at other people’s projects. Each person has such a unique story and purpose to their narrative. Some offer a sense of likeness while others are completely foreign experiences. It is comforting, there is a sense of community. ┬áThese are all stories that are very worth being shared and anyone would benefit from seeing them.

Downloadable Version:
reese_personal_narrative.mp3