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Essay Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences

Redefining Realness?: On Janet Mock, Laverne Cox, TS Madison, and the Representation of Transgender Women of Color in Media

By Julian Kevon Glover, 2016

nThis article investigates the way that transgender women of color are represented in media. Using textual analysis and close reading, I delineate the ways in which Cox and Mock produce a definition of transnormativity through their appeal to respect-ability politics and how the perpetuation of such politics factor into the media’s focus on them at the exclusion of other transgender women of color whose narratives are significantly different. Further, I use porn star, entrepreneur, and musician TS Madison to illustrate how transgender women of color use social media to create space to present alternative representations and narratives of womanhood that do no rely on the compulsory appeal to transnormative respectability politics.

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