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What Trans Visibility Gave Me

Started by Jessica_Rose, March 30, 2024, 05:40:09 AM

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What Trans Visibility Gave Me

Story by McKenzie Wark (June 2023)

It's been nine years since the TIME cover story in which journalist Katy Steinmetz declared that we are living in the time of the "transgender tipping point." That put a name to the rise in visibility of transgender people within pop culture and the media we consume. That same year, writer Janet Mock became a bestseller author; model Geena Rocero came out in a Ted Talk that has been viewed over 3 million times; the actress Laverne Cox, who was on the cover of Steinmetz's story, became a star.

To some, 2014 was supposed to herald in a much-awaited recognition—a moment when trans people could finally be included among those who have the right to just be. Others, however, particularly trans people of color, cautioned that this kind of visibility has always been an ambivalent gift, as visibility also exposes trans people to attack.

Those who like to harbor prejudices against others came to realize that they had been neglecting to hate trans and gender nonconforming people with the gusto they applied to hating other groups. They came for us as if they were making up for lost time. The wave of legislation against transgender people across the U.S. is one of the consequences of the rise in visibility.

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