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Media Representation

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It seems to me, that trans masculine representation is vastly lacking, in the media, in activism, in resources, and I am sure other areas.

I guess what this rant is, is about one person.

I used to follow a prominent trans woman feminist activist, but for my sanity, needed to distance myself. Since she gets a lot of media coverage, she's hard to avoid. As a whole, I don't really have a problem with her views, but there are things that piss me off.

The main one is that she claims she's "one of the biggest trans activists" yet she fails to mention trans men for the most part. She'll quip that trans men receive little attention from time to time, but doesn't mention them in the media.

Yesterday I asked her if she was going to mention trans men in a piece about poverty. Her reply was that an inter-sectional lens is space for trans women to discuss trans women issues.

I'm sorry, but no. Trans men face poverty, housing issues, voice problems, discrimination, lack of dignity, harassment, violence, surgery, hormones, fear of using public bathrooms and many other issues as well.

As an example, you know what trans men do not face - health issues such as prostate problems. The next point in my head was "facial feminization" but that negates pre-t trans men.

By no means am I saying I believe this world provides equal treatment, and these issues are systematically to the same extreme for trans women, trans women of colour, trans men and trans men of colour. I am just saying that all trans people, have hurdles that need to be navigated and using the guise of an inter-sectional lens to silence trans masculine experiences is unacceptable. Especially for a trans activist.

Just my opinion though. What are your thoughts?


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I haven't been following trans-activists long enough to comment about them and transmen, but I do know that media representations have been overwhelmingly of transwomen.  That may be in part because the transition is generally more visible?  (going from man to woman vs. woman to man)  The idea of "tomboys" has been around and partly/largely accepted for so long that it makes FtM transitioning seem less extreme.  Just a thought, and that doesn't justify anything!

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Thank you for your thoughtful observation Brigsby. I agree there isn't as much conversation about trans men. I suspect that is because the men are less visible, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about FtM issues. It reinforces in my mind that we were right, during the early development of TGGuide, when we decided to be open to all transgender people including FtM. In fact, during our recent upgrades, I am attempting to make the site more neutral so it feels welcoming for both the guys and gals regardless of where they fit on the transgender continuum.

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Posted

Your "activist" friend sounds much like Lisa Vogel and her attitude towards trans women.

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