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Critique Essay Humanities Theory

Transgender and transsexual people’s sexuality in the media

By Karine Espineira, 2016

A longstanding concern voiced by trans groups and their most public figures is to ‘change the image of trans in society’ – a concern expanded since the 2000s by a wish to ‘change the image of trans in the media’.1 For decades, as a means to protect themselves from being incorporated into cabaret, prostitution or pornography by the media, people self-identifying as transsexual have forbidden themselves any form of sexuality.2 As for people who recognize themselves as transgender, they only experienced media cov- erage, confessional [confidentielle] and contentious, later. If transsexuals seem to have succeeded in shedding their sexuality, transgender people saw them- selves dispossessed of their gender and loaded with sexuality; something which seems to have partially rendered invisible their critiques of the gender order, of binaries and of sexism. Media paradigms have had an impact in the field, creating confusion, division and competition. In order to shed light on the interrelated processes of over-sexualisation and desexualisation of trans identities, the findings of a participant observation carried out between 2008 and 2012 (focussed on trans identity organizations and cooperatives) and analyses of two audiovisual archives will be drawn upon

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