What my most popular posts on tumblr can tell us about what transgender youth are looking for
I have been posting transgender news and links to relevant articles over at tumblr for many years now. I can track the number of people who interact with those post, whether they are clicking on the like button or they are reblogging them. Since tumblr is dominated by the younger generations, this gives me an idea about what kind of content they are looking for.
I guess the average article get some 250 responses of this kind, which is not bad, all things considered. Sometimes, however, people sharing the post makes it go viral, reaching even outside the transgender section of tumblr.
These are the types of articles that make my tumblr-friends go crazy:
In positive stories about trans people get a lot of traction, and especially videos.
Jade Mcfarlane and her boyfriend, Tyler, responded to a commenter over at tiktok, who suggested Mcfarlene’s boyfriend would have left Jade if he knew she was trans. Their video response have now over 10,000 likes and reblogs.
Over at twitter, Eva, a lesbian transgender woman, published an intelligent and funny video in response to the “Wearing a dress does not make you a woman!” tropé, showing the world what kind of stupid stereotype this is. 82,000 likes and reblogs followed.
The need for positive stories goes beyond videos.
The story about Danna Sultana, a Columbian transgender actress, model and showgirl, and her transgender partner, Esteban Landrau, has been loved by 3700 tumblerers.
A related story about the Vietnamese couple Minh Khang and Minh Anh and their baby has so far resulted in 31,000 positive responses.
The story about Tista Das, a transgender activist and actress, marrying her transgender partner Dipan Chakraborty in a Hindu ceremony in Agarpara, Kolkata was also popular. (28,600)
Indeed, even if tumblr’s audience is predominantly American and European, stories from other parts of the world may do well.
Being trans enough
There are, unfortunately, some trans people who find it meaningful to invalidate other transgender people. Stories that gives a more nuanced picture of the transgender umbrella is therefore of great help to many.
“Gender Dysphoria Isn’t What You Think”, for instance, generated 4,600 positive responses.
Celebrities defending transgender people
In some cases loved celebrities embracing trans people go viral. I guess this is about being seen by people who has some kind of legitimacy in the broader population.
People loved reading about Ian McKellen arguing that all gay people should be trans allies (43,000 likes and reblogs at the moment, photo above).
Feminist icon Judith Butler defending trans people did not go down well with the tumblr TERFs (who did their best to intimidate me in the days that followed), but the vote from the tumblr jury was clear: 1,200 votes for one article, 33,000 for another.
When Neil Gaiman, NK Jemisin, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and other authors gave full support to transgender people in an open letter, 2300 positive reaction was the result.
5700 people applauded ‘Walking Dead’ star Khary Payton introducing his transgender son, Karter
Two years ago, before he came out as trans, a post about Elliot Page’s support for trans people generated 15,000 smiles.
Post documenting scientific support for trans people
The transphobic nonsense of gender equalling biological sex has clearly taken its toll. It may sound like “common sense” to many, but the fact is that science says no such thing. Trans youth benefit from solid references that can be presented to doubtful parents over the kitchen table.
When the prestigious journal Scientific American points out there is no real reason to exclude transgender athletes, people have to take it seriously. (14,000)
A biologist, “Brofessor Megan”, telling the truth about sex and gender in a tiktok video made 52,200 people happy (and counting…)
A post about intersex woman Emily Quinn’s amazing TED talk on biological sex and gender has so far generated 60,800 responses. It is hard to argue that gender equals biological sex when a woman with XY chromosomes tells you a different story.
Sometimes I take the liberty of reposting relevant twitter threads (with all the proper attributions, obviously) and a science vet explaining the complexities of biological sex has gained 34,700 positive responses so far.
Four years ago National Geographic put a transgender girl on their cover back. My post about it got 83,000 notes.
Stories that shows the increasing visibility of LGBTQA people in general are also popular, as in “Less than half of America’s youth are straight, new survey finds” (21,000)
Posts documenting that you can find love as a trans person
I think that one of the deepest fears felt by trans people is that they will be dismissed by friends and family if they come out and that they will never find love living as themselves.
Because of this I have shared a lot of positive stories about trans people finding love and acceptance.
The following headline “My spouse of ten years is trans! I feel like I’m meeting her for the first time, bc her personality was so restricted as a man” had a great effect. (3,400 reactions)
Increasing the visibility of transgender men
There are a lot of transmasculine transgender people and trans men on tumblr, and they and others appreciate posts about trans men.
A story about Dani Farrell’s Instagram page Trans in Color and the transgender social support service called T Buddy gained 4,600 thumbs up.
Photographer Soraya Zaman traveled to 21 states to capture the trans experience in America with interviews and images. My post about this project clocked 5100.
Since so many get their main news from social media channels like facebook, instagram, twitter and tumblr it becomes extremely important that we share news and stories that can be of help to transgender people, and that — hopefully — will give cis people a positive view of what it means to be trans. My tumblr blog, my twitter account and my Flipboard magazines are my main contributions in this respect.