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Start Date

25-6-2022 12:00 AM

End Date

25-6-2022 12:00 AM

Abstract

The promise of online community is particularly fraught for marginalized creators who contend with media platforms’ corporate policies on the one hand and users’ social bias on the other. Practices such as flagging, the use of community “guidelines,” demonetization, shadowbanning all have discriminatory impact on trans users. Though community guidelines are meant to create communities and publics, they are first and foremost corporate policies. As such, they delineate the boundaries of belonging and craft transness as a “problem” for the “community” intended for protection, while removing transness from the public space of the platform.

Given the stakes for trans of color visibility online and offline, this paper turns to trans Latinx media activism to attend to questions of online practices of belonging. Thinking through José Esteban Muñoz’s notion of a “problem” as an ethnoracialized social feeling, I attend to the work of three trans Latinx micro-celebrities as they navigate and resist platform disappearance on social media platforms by “transing” the problem—by documenting and archiving discriminatory policies of one platform on another or by using comedic discourse to critique and circumvent platform censorship.

Transing the problem reveals the assumed stability of a platform that is not stable for the trans body and has significant implications for the ways that trans BIPOC micro-celebrities navigate online visibility. This paper argues that transing the problem through the strategic mis/use of multiple platforms, vlogging conventions, tagging, and comedic discourse is a way of rendering visible the exclusions of policies and practices while also resisting platform disappearance.

Bio

Dan/Dani Bustillo is a PhD candidate in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine. They are also a graduate student in the Feminist Emphasis in UCI’s Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies. Their work centers on forms of activist media made by trans Latinx communities to resist and circumvent the US security state. They hold an MA from UCI, an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, a BA from Hunter College, and an AA from Miami Dade Community College.

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Transing the “Problem”: Trans Latinx Micro-Celebrity Media Activism

The promise of online community is particularly fraught for marginalized creators who contend with media platforms’ corporate policies on the one hand and users’ social bias on the other. Practices such as flagging, the use of community “guidelines,” demonetization, shadowbanning all have discriminatory impact on trans users. Though community guidelines are meant to create communities and publics, they are first and foremost corporate policies. As such, they delineate the boundaries of belonging and craft transness as a “problem” for the “community” intended for protection, while removing transness from the public space of the platform.

Given the stakes for trans of color visibility online and offline, this paper turns to trans Latinx media activism to attend to questions of online practices of belonging. Thinking through José Esteban Muñoz’s notion of a “problem” as an ethnoracialized social feeling, I attend to the work of three trans Latinx micro-celebrities as they navigate and resist platform disappearance on social media platforms by “transing” the problem—by documenting and archiving discriminatory policies of one platform on another or by using comedic discourse to critique and circumvent platform censorship.

Transing the problem reveals the assumed stability of a platform that is not stable for the trans body and has significant implications for the ways that trans BIPOC micro-celebrities navigate online visibility. This paper argues that transing the problem through the strategic mis/use of multiple platforms, vlogging conventions, tagging, and comedic discourse is a way of rendering visible the exclusions of policies and practices while also resisting platform disappearance.