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SCSU Journal of Student Scholarship

SCSU Journal of Student Scholarship

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Jeffrey Mullins

Abstract

The spread of internet and social media access in the 21st century led to increased visibility of transgender persons in the U.S., especially within such popular culture venues as art, music, literature, television, and movies. The rapid communication facilitated by the internet also allowed for the formation of larger, more widespread trans communities. This foundation of visibility and community association enabled transgender persons to achieve many breakthroughs in health and mental health care, as well as in anti-discrimination laws. At the same time, this visibility sparked a countermovement against the rights of transgender persons, paralleling a year-by-year increase in violence towards transgender persons. Over the past 20 years, the five years preceding 2021 saw the highest levels of the revocation of rights and increased violence against the transgender community, even as social acceptance had risen to the highest levels. As recently as the 1990’s, elements and documentation of queer and trans history were often uncollected, or even worse, destroyed. This left trans and queer lives, their identities, and their histories suppressed. We must gain understanding, education, and the realistic portrayals of trans lives to undo the damage and appeal of sensationalism, and the eroticization of trans lives and their existence. We the people means all the people, not just the people that think the way, look the way, or act the way that you do.

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