This thesis examines FtM (female to male) transgender YouTubers, their relationships with Internet platforms, with each other, with their bodies, and with mass media. Exploring content uploaded by trans YouTubers, as well as interviews with three YouTubers (Liam Rutz, Chase Ross and Charles Thomy), this thesis examines how the unprecedented modes of presenting and viewing the body through digital self-representation and online community legitimize trans identities. Topics of community, narrative, (self-)representation/archival, vernacular, binaries, accessibility, legitimization, the gendered body in cyberspace, and cyber/auto-ethnography are explored through ethnographic data as well as literature. Findings suggest that self-representational digital media makes trans bodies, identities, and life experiences accessible to both trans and cis individuals.
By Harlow B Figa, 2016