Rethinking (and Retheorizing) Transgender Media Representation: A Roundtable Discussion

Thomas J Billard, Traci B. Abbott, Oliver L. Haimson, Kelsey N. Whipple, Stephenson Brooks Whitestone, Erique Zhang


This roundtable began as the first panel of the International Communication Association dedicated exclusively to transgender studies. The articles of the panel investigated various domains of mediated representation, from television to newspapers to online pornography to Tumblr blogs. The differences in media, methods, and theoretical frameworks across the articles allowed for the panel to cover a broad swath of transgender representation in the current media environment. At the same time, their intersections allowed for conversation to move beyond theoretical understandings of media representation inherited from feminist and LGB studies to think about what transgender-specific modes of representation may be, how they differ from other modes of representation, and how the consequences of these transgender-specific modes may also, therefore, differ. After some time away to reflect, the panelists sat back down to answer important questions about how their work pushes both the theory and the practice of transgender media representation forward.


transgender, visibility, representation, global media, cissexism

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