Screen-births: Exploring the transformative potential in trans video blogs on YouTube

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Abstract

This article takes as its point of departure the numerous amounts of video blogs (vlogs) on YouTube (youtube.com) where transsexuals (using hormones and/or surgery to alter their body) document and discuss their gender transition. The transition is often articulated as a birth or a re-birth signalling a new start in life and a new identity. ‘Trans-‘ in its many meanings and configurations seems to be a suitable name for these vlogs as well as a fruitful and thought-provoking frame for engaging with them. In this article I will touch upon ‘trans’ in three different ways, as an identity category (transsexual), as a movement of becoming (transitioning) and as a characterisation of the vlog medium (transmedia). I will argue that the vlog operates as something in-between an autobiography, a diary, and a vehicle of communication and social connection. The questions that I will pursue are: how are these various forms of –‘trans-‘ played out in the vlogs and what might the transformative potential be?
Original languageEnglish
JournalGraduate Journal of Social Science
Volume7
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)113-130
ISSN1572-3763
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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