From television shows like Orange is the New Black and Transparent, to the real-life struggles of Caitlyn Jenner splashed across the headlines, transgender visibility is on the rise. But what was it like to live as a transgender person in a media environment before this transgender boom in television? While pop culture imaginations of transgender identity flourish and shape audience’s perceptions of trans identities, what does this new media visibility mean for transgender individuals themselves?
Struggling for Ordinary engagingly answers these questions, offering a snapshot of how transgender individuals made their way toward a sense of ordinary life by integrating available media into their everyday experiences. Drawing on in-depth interviews with transgender communities, Andre Cavalcante offers a richly detailed account of how the media impacts the lives and experiences of transgender individuals. He grippingly looks at the emotional toll that media takes on this population along with their resilience in the face of disempowerment. Deeply rooted in the life stories of transgender people, the book uses everyday circumstances to show how media and technology operate as a medium through which transgender individuals are able to cultivate an understanding of their identities, build inhabitable worlds, and achieve the routine affordances of everyday life from which they are often excluded.
Expertly researched and eloquently argued, Struggling for Ordinary sheds a fascinating new light of the everyday struggles of individuals and communities, to seek a life in which transgender identity is fully integrated into the ordinary.