Post-Research Reflections: Final Update

I totally forgot to make a third blog post. Whoops.

My main takeaway from this research, which I pretty much understood to be the case going into it, is that the music industry suffers from a severe lack of a queer presence – regardless of genre. That being said, my work is just a snapshot of the reality of music’s queer underrepresentation; more expansive research is entirely possible, and ought to be conducted in the future. In terms of expanding my own project, I think it would be beneficial to examine queer visibility across multiple music services, not just streaming ones. Looking at music providers such as radio stations and CD/record stores, in addition to streaming services, could offer a sort of comparison analysis of whether or not the type of music service influences queer representation. I also could increase the number of genre-based playlists I study. Furthermore, examining playlists exclusively featuring lesser-known, “indie” artists within each genre alongside playlists containing only current-day hits (like the ones I used in my research) might answer questions of how commercial standing contributes to queer representation. Even simply incorporating more genres could yield newer, more diverse findings. The point is that my project is merely a stepping stone into a much broader research scope.

Despite encountering largely disheartening results, and some very tedious googling, I very much enjoyed and am proud of the work I completed. I found it personally interesting and, more importantly, culturally relevant. Music is ubiquitous in society, and so are queer folk – whether we realize it or not. Thus, it’s vital that these marginalized communities receive the same visibility and opportunities for identification with which the dominant groups are privileged. Hopefully, then, this project will successfully call attention to such a critical concept and move both music and the larger society in a direction of equality.