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Title: The Transgender Tipping Point and trans representation in contemporary young adult (YA) fiction
Author: Nash, Jackson Jessie
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 3569
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2019
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The Transgender Tipping Point was a phrase used by Time magazine in 2014 to describe the increased visibility of transgender people in popular culture. Visibility is often viewed as not just progress, but proof that the fight for transgender acceptance is nearly over. However, upon closer inspection it becomes clear that only certain types of trans narratives are highly visible. Those favoured in the media are ones which conform to idealised stereotypes of gender and sexuality, the masculine heterosexual man and the feminine heterosexual woman. As they become the template for expected (and thus acceptable) transition narratives, other types of trans identity become invisible and not palatable for a mainstream audience. This thesis explores how trans youth, who are noticeably absent in studies on youth and gender, are represented in Young Adult (YA) fiction and popular culture. Taking a cultural studies approach, I analyse not just the text of YA fiction, but also the production of these texts in relation to The Transgender Tipping Point. I explore strategies used in the production of fiction, such as self-publishing, which allow trans-identified authors a greater freedom in their storytelling. The packaging of trans identities to make them palatable (as either acceptable or something freakish that can be demonised) is a theme central to this thesis and is explored through detailed analysis of cover art, plotting, metaphor, temporal relationships and youth subcultures. The issue of visibility is further complicated for trans youth as certain types of media focus on the morality or negative ‘issue' of youth transition, framing transition as dangerous and frightening in a way which recalls the earlier treatment of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the press.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ0018.55 Gender identity ; PN3443 Juvenile and young adult fiction