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Friday, October 3, 2014


A comment on Trans Representation in the Media by Travis, A LGBTQ+ Program Intern

Hi readers!

So just as a disclaimer, I am merely a person who identifies with the LGBTQ+ community and in no way have any significant idea of what it is like to be transgender or have issues revolving around being so. But I do care about many of the issues going on in the LGBTQ+ community and would like to help increase the visibility of them.

Something that I would like to talk about is the visibility of the transgender community in our society. But just to be clear, this is a sensitive topic so I’ll try to be delicate.

So it’s a widely known truth that the majority of people in this world as of today, identify as cisgender. This means that they as individuals feel comfortable living as the gender that their sex often times coincides with. So like, I was born and deemed male due to the genitalia I have and while growing up, I felt comfortable living in a male identity. This is just some helpful info for those of you who don’t know. However, there are many individuals who don’t feel as I do, and those people often times feel comfortable using the umbrella term Transgender.

So (and I’ll try to stop starting these little paragraphs with so), if you’re a fairly up-to-date person and are current with many new and popular events you’ll know that Orange Is The New Black (OITNB) just came out with a second season on Netflix! It’s an awesome and hilarious show and I totally recommend it to everyone. It does a significant service for the LGBTQ+ community, in my opinion, because it touches on issues going on with the community and helps bring at least some modicum of visibility to it. And one of the most recently popular stars of the show is the ever-amazing Laverne Cox. She has received so much praise for her role as the lovely Sophia Burset for being not only a great actress but also for being a great role model for the transgender community.

To be honest though, while watching OITNB I realized that I haven’t consciously seen any other famous transgender actor or actress in some time; and not even outside of acting. It feels like the media hasn’t given much attention to this community. It was a weird and eerie feeling. I think the last famous out trans person I had heard about before Laverne Cox would have to be Chaz Bono who’s a great guy and is an amazing activist for the LGBTQ+ community. I find it really bothersome though that I there isn’t as big of a voice for the trans community as there should be. We know it’s not because there’s a lack of content; there are tons of issues going on within the trans community, such as homelessness, employment insecurity, high rates of violence, etc. But it feels like there are only niche avenues to learn about what’s going on in the community and that they exist only for individuals who are looking specifically for this kind of information or those who are already involved in issues surrounding it.

In light of my little rant, there is a new show on Amazon called Transparent that I feel is talking about being trans in a positive light, and bringing some much needed attention to the less talked about trans community. It might not be a great show or even a good show, but at least it’s happening and will helpfully get more and more people to at least think about the community and to start conversations. It's nice to see that television has taken the step to increase the amount of trans roles lately, but the next big step is to have more trans actors portraying these roles. So in the end really all this is is a PSA to y’all that trans people are in your community and their issues are real!


1 comment:

  1. I'm loving all the trans* visibility! Also- very good disclaimer. Disclaimers are always a good outlet to acknowledge your privilege before engaging in discussions like this.