Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


School of Journalism and Broadcasting

Document Type



Everyone seeks acceptance in one facet or another throughout his or her life, and for Riley McCracken this desire for acceptance is no different. “Thicker Than Water” is a photojournalistic look at the life of a young person who recently has entered the phase of physically transitioning from female to male. Through documentation of Riley’s journey, this project showcases a humanizing and personal face to the relevant discussion of LGBT rights fought for nationally as well as in Kentucky. Riley’s story is one that echoes the struggle that many trans and gender dysmorphic individuals face, but the struggle is not understood by a large segment of the population. This project shares a story that does not fit the confines of cisgender identification, and adds a face to an ongoing issue through a unique perspective. This project is a documentation of Riley’s life and how his unique experience correlates to universal themes of acceptance and family. Through a photo story and multimedia piece, with collaborative efforts from Cassidy Mayo, I showcase how Riley finds acceptance in himself and within the community.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Mr. Tim Broekema


Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Graphic Communications | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Photography