Representing transgender in the 1970s Australian media

Journal article


Riseman, Noah. (2021) Representing transgender in the 1970s Australian media. Gender and History. 33(1), pp. 227-248. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0424.12510
AuthorsRiseman, Noah
Abstract

In 1970s Australia, magazines and newspapers regularly featured stories about transgender women. The articles were often exploitative and depicted transgender people as freaks, with headlines designed to shock and mock. Digging deeper, there is another side to transgender people in the Australian media. Notwithstanding the exploitative nature of the coverage, the media was still a site of transgender visibility in an era where there otherwise was none. Oral histories with transgender Australians often mention the importance of a particular television show, article or magazine because they saw others ‘like them’, and they realised that they were not alone. Some transgender people even kept those articles for years because of the connections they felt to an otherwise uncertain identity. There were also features in the press that were empathetic to transgender Australians, whether that be on the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), in magazines such as Cleo or in broadsheet newspapers. This article analyses the complex role that media played representing and relating to transgender Australians in the 1970s. Drawing on a mix of newspaper, magazine and television sources, as well as oral histories, the article opens new lines of inquiry about histories of transgender visibility, public discourse and understanding the self.

Year2021
JournalGender and History
Journal citation33 (1), pp. 227-248
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN0953-5233
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0424.12510
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85097027415
Open accessPublished as green open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range227-248
FunderAustralian Research Council
Author's accepted manuscript
File Access Level
Open
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Mar 2021
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDARC/DP180100322
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