Throwback Thursday posts are posts I have previously written on other sites. They are reposted here sometimes on Thursdays. This post was originally posted on Queereka on 10/13/2013. Usage note: “Trans*” was a common convention in 2013 but is generally no longer used. I no longer use it but have preserved it in reposts in which it originally occurred for transparency.
Lately there has been a huge increase in the number of media news stories about trans* youth, especially pre-pubescent kids. Mainstream media shows them, blogs cover them, and stories get passed around on social media. Many of these stories are uplifting tales of families that accept and nurture their non-gender-conforming children and go on at length about how they are managing their local school systems and other barriers to acceptance for these kids. The kids featured almost always seem to identify firmly on the other side of a gender binary from the sex they were assigned at birth.
While seeing examples of accepting families is reassuring and inspiring for many, I’m worried about this messaging. I don’t think it’s function is to increase acceptance of trans* people in society. In fact, I think it’s primarily designed and intended to enforce the gender binary and emphasize a very particular kind of story about who trans* people are.
Continue reading “TBT: Trans Kids and Media Messaging”