Trans* Representation in Media

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Today’s society is reliant upon modern or contemporary media for access to news, information, or visuals on the state of the world among many other things. Both visual and textual media have become platforms that we use to specifically and purposely pursue knowledge or that instills that information to us on a subconscious level that we do not even realize until it’s put to use at a later date (for better or for worse). Media, while very influential and increasingly progressive, still isn’t perfect and when it comes to ‘queer media’ or shows that feature or have an LGBTQ character, there are still certain qualities that those in the community find lacking, stereotypical, or downright humiliating. This is especially true for trans* individuals who for the most part are seen “as silly” or inconsequential objects of ridicule, and when showcased we are expected to “dismiss them as theater” instead of seeing them as complex human beings who are embracing their true identities (Siebler, 2010). Even when there are non-comical media portrayals of trans* people, we still often only see them being victimized or made out to be freaks because of their struggles with their gender identities. While it is true that there is more trans* representation in media than there has ever been before in history, it is still a topic that is usually either addressed poorly and distastefully or that doesn’t fully capture the experience of those people who feel like they don’t fall on either end of the gender binary spectrum. Discussion Negative Representation One of the worst problems with contemporary visual media when in regards to trans* representation is that unless one actively seeks out the knowledge about the complexities of their struggles, then m... ... middle of paper ... ...en years of transgender images on television; More than half were negative or defamatory. Retrieved from website: http://www.glaad.org/blog/glaad-examines-ten-years-transgender-images-television-more-half-were-negative-or-defamatory Kane, M. (2013, November 12). Transgender characters that changed film and television. Retrieved from website: http://www.glaad.org/blog/transgender-characters-changed-film-and-television Siebler, K. (2010). Transqueer representations and how we educate. Journal of LGBT Youth, 7(4), 320-345. doi: 10.1080/19361653.2010.512521 Siebler, K. (2012). Transgender transitions: Sex/gender binaries in the digital age. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 16, 74-99. doi: 10.1080/19359705.2012.632751 Sokoll, T. (2013). Representations of trans* youth in young adult literature: A report and a suggestion. Young Adult Library Services, 11(4), 23-26.

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