At first glance, the image appears to be the desktop screen of a ’90s personal computer — with floating windows and a hovering, pixelated cursor. But a closer look reveals a media widget playing the song “we fell in love in october,” by indie singer-songwriter girl in red, and Pride mantras such as “Love knows no gender” splashed among images of queer icons Ruby Rose, Hayley Kiyoko and Kehlani in the ’90s mockup of the software Microsoft Paint.
This is one of the many bold and colorful collages made by CSUN students in Queer Studies 204: Queer Identity – Pop Music and Its Audience, 1980s to Now. The course’s final project for spring 2020 was to create digital zines — self-published collections of externally sourced text and images — and song playlists to inspire LGBTQ+ youth around the San Fernando Valley and beyond to love and accept themselves, especially during these unprecedented times.
“If I had found something like the zines and the playlists we made when I was younger, when I was in the closet, struggling with my own identity, it would have definitely helped me to feel less alone in the world,” said Jade Edwards, a student in the class. “I’m glad we could make [this project] now, and help whoever is in young me’s shoes with coming out and accepting themselves.”
Collage from “Zine 3” in CSUN Queer Studies project.