With the uprise of social media-influenced activism and discussions of social equity for people across the gender, race, and/or sexuality spectrums, a new dilemma originated from the hazy distinction between people with more social influence and privilege speaking for a cause and the people affected, rather than with. This challenge gained publicity during the recent Woman’s Marches.
The media caters towards monopolized representation, which appears as a handful of respected big name celebrities being presented in the media as “the face of ____ people”. (You fill in the blank) This trend has been particularly common within the trans community, with a vast majority of trans representation occupied by the infamous Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox.
Naturally, the stories and experiences of Jenner and Cox are exactly that – stories of two particular trans women. Stories that do not account for the infinite potential combinations of the many spectrums of our human identities and therefore certainly should not be framed as the biography of the entire trans population.
In ET’s article Janet Mock explains that “communities are plural”, which is not and cannot be represented by one person’s experience. HBO’s documentary, The Trans List, hoped to “expand the scope of the trans community” through interviewing an array of trans individuals, bringing a mosaic of perspectives and identities into the discussion.
Intersectional media brings us closer to a world where representation is about inclusion, not exploitation.