USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


John Jay Boda


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available

May 2012

Publication Date


Date Issued

May 2012


Thesis: In 2010, a rash of suicides — especially among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth — began a national conversation about bullying. United States laws and policies along with prevailing societal attitudes towards homosexuality create an ethos condoning such bullying often leading many LGBT youth to conclude it is better to commit suicide than it is to go on living. Growing up isn’t easy for anybody, but it's all the more difficult when you are (or perceived to be) LGBT. Saving September is part narrative play, part civics lesson about the difficulties of growing up gay in America and the various forms of bullying surrounding LGBT children. Narrative story: Destructive forces rail against young people - gay and straight - attempting to survive their adolescence. An ill-fated love story intertwines with that of September, a teenager struggling against a riptide of homophobia. Dialogues: Pointed and poignant verbal and visual essays reinforcing the author's thesis: anti-gay rhetoric surrounds LGBT youth leading them towards ideas of suicide. The production company adds its own context and experience to the “Dialogues,” making each a communal conversation. Creating the play requires the production company to examine and consider the play's larger ideas while including local context. The author’s intention is to show how the broader ideas of homophobia impact all members of a community. Choice of music, imagery, and some dialogue are left up to the company and in this way, the play's message becomes organic and authentic for the audience.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment ofthe requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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