23 June 2017

What do you think about the media’s portrayal of trans people?

It’s been seven years since Jennie Kermode and Trans Media Watch released findings from their brilliant survey about trans people’s experience with the media. When we were approached by King’s College MA student Qiuling Liu, who is interested in the impact of the media on trans people’s lives, we saw the value in the research immediately. Her dissertation research looks at trans people’s experiences of the media, whether representation has changed for the better, how people consume media and the role of trans advocacy organisations.

We’re very interested in new findings and research regarding trans and non-binary experiences. The recent publication of Fixers’ research on young trans people’s lives and The Family Life Study run by Cambridge University and Gendered Intelligence, are both valuable and Family Life study is still gathering data. However, it’s clear that there’s a lack of research about trans people’s experiences with the media, and how coverage might impact their well-being and daily lives.

Conversations at BBC North

King’s College has a Collaborative Dissertation programme, allowing postgrad students to work with organisations on research projects. Alongside Jennie Kermode, the author of the original 2010 work, All About Trans Advisors and strategic planner and qualitative researcher Jo Shaw, we have been working with Qiuling to develop a survey that can allow trans people to share how they feel about media representation in the UK.

She’s asking what has changed in seven years? How are things better? What impact does the media have on trans people’s lives today? How can trans advocacy organisations make a difference? Qiuling will also be holding a number of more in depth interviews with trans people regarding their feelings about media representation throughout June and July. Anyone interested in being involved can contact us here for more information.

This is an exciting opportunity to learn more about the media’s influence and impact on trans and non-binary lives – but we need your help. 

Will you take the survey, please? It’s linked here too: https://kclbs.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3WMbgv6RJwjTsgd

Talking to media professionals in Glasgow

We’re asking trans* and gender questioning adults – 18 years plus – to take the survey. Open only until Monday 31st July, the anonymous survey takes a little time to complete, but is an excellent opportunity to express how the media might affect you or your family. Findings will be shared in September.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Qiuling (qiuling.liu@kcl.ac.uk) if you have any questions or concerns regarding the survey. Thanks so much in advance!

Update – the research was published in September 2017. We’ll be blogging about this shortly, but in the meantime, check out the key findings and the Executive Summary of Breaking the Binary.

*‘Trans’ is used here as an umbrella term for the broad spectrum of people who feel they are gender variant in some way, including but not limited to transsexual, transgender, non-binary and gender queer people.

All About Trans