The media is pervasive in American society – more people have television sets than college degrees. For this reason, media is crucial in the spread of information. The way groups of people are represented in the media can be both reflective of and influential on society's (possibly stereotypical) perceptions of these groups. The transgender community often gets misrepresented in the media. As a whole, the transgender community faces a lot of prejudice in American society, and current transgender representation in the media has the power to reinforce negative stereotypes. Twelve examples of news, television, and movies from as early as 1975 and as recent as 2013 were analyzed both for their accuracy and fairness in their portrayal of transpeople and transgender issues. Nearly all samples utilized negative stereotypes of transgender people. Many samples focused on transgender characters in a joking nature, making light of transgender struggles and reinforcing common misconceptions and negative stereotypes of what it means when a person is transgender. Media outlets are irresponsible with their representations of the transgender community. Society needs to hold the media more accountable for the information it dispenses. As important, if not more so, is society holding itself accountable for what it chooses to believe.
Semester/Year of Award
Lisa B. Day
English and Theatre
Open Access Thesis
Jobe, Jessica N., "Transgender Representation in the Media" (2013). Honors Theses. 132.