Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Ethnic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Seema Sohi

Abstract

According to a survey conducted by the blogging site Posterous in early January of 2013, Tumblr is the most popular website amongst teenagers and young adults from the ages 13-25. Just weeks before this survey was published, on December 20, 2012, the Tumblr website featured an editorial on the growing number of transgender youth that use the blogging site. This thesis seeks to examine transmasculine youth blogs on Tumblr that write about identity, embodiment, transition and trans* liberation. Through focusing on general transmasculine blogging trends on Tumblr, along with four specific transidentified bloggers, this study explores trans* youth using the Internet to find community, explore their identity, and construct a political consciousness. The general conclusions of the research point to an ever-expanding category of transgender in cyber spaces, in part due to the intersectional and inclusive politics and identities of transmasculine bloggers. These bloggers’ intersectional approach to identity and trans* liberation politics challenges mainstream depictions of the transgender experience as racially white and medically based. In challenging the dominant narrative of the trans experience as a condition of being trapped in the wrong body, these youth bloggers are telling different narratives of gender embodiment and transition that contest temporal constructions of transgenderism as a timeline with a clear beginning and end point. Their radical new imagining of the gendered experience contributes to the expansive and inclusive trans* communities online.

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