Researching the rainbow

London Met PhD candidate Cinar Aydogan will present his research on LGBT+ identity, social media and coming out online at this year’s Student Pride.

Date: 07 February 2020

London Met PhD candidate, Cinar Aydogan, is set to share his innovative research on coming out online at National Student Pride. His presentation will form part of a seminar on queer culture called Researching the Rainbow, with other experts exploring topics as varied as the psychology of having multiple LGBT+ identities, whether the use of HIV prevention drug PrEP can increase the risk of other STIs, understanding LGBT+ youth suicide in Scotland, and transphobic media coverage and the history of moral panic.

Cinar said: “Social media is often used as a safe space for the LGBT+ community – somewhere you can remain anonymous if you want or need to. As a result, many trans people come out online before they do ‘in real life.’ The extent to which social media affects identity disclosure is largely unexplored. Media representation of trans* people is crucial in increasing public support towards marginalised groups and reducing prejudice.

“My research investigates issues that trans* people face in establishing and validating their identity through online disclosure and the impact that using social media has on the "coming out"-experience of trans* individuals.”

Cinar is currently in the second year of his part-time PhD, and has an academic background in marketing, communication and digital media. He is particularly interested in the impact that technological developments have on human behaviour, interpersonal relationships and identity.

He added: “A friend of mine told me about Researching the Rainbow and suggested that I apply as a speaker. This is the first conference that I will be attending, and I thought, although I don't have any data yet (interviews will commence in May), it is crucial to start the conversation about trans issues in everyday life. Part of my presentation is going to address the difficulties LGBTQ+ researchers face while researching a topic that is close to their own experiences.

“Research in this field is important to me personally - as a transgender man myself, I have had to come out at various stages in my life (and still have to come out in new social settings). Each stage had a different impact on my emerging identity.”

Bringing together 1700 students from 170 global universities, National Student Pride is the biggest gathering of LGBT+ students in the UK. The annual event is held in February, LGBTQIA+ History Month, and features talks and debates with inspirational activists, pride parties and the UK’s largest queer-inclusive recruitment fair.

Cinar Aydogan, PhD student at London Met

LGBTQIA+ at London Met

Here at London Met, we're dedicated to ensuring equal opportunities for all, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer or another sexual minority. Find out more about our LGBTQIA+ community and the free events on offer throughout LGBTQIA+ History Month. 

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