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Home>Resource Center>Transgender Actor Explores Importance Of Trans Characters

Transgender Actor Explores Importance Of Trans Characters

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Out of more than 600 regular and recurring LGBTQ+ characters on TV this year, just 6% are transgender, according to a report from the media monitoring group GLAAD. But a decade ago, there werent any transgender characters on TV at all.

Over the past decade, actresses like Laverne Cox and MJ Rodriguez paved the way for transgender artists in Hollywood for their groundbreaking roles in Orange is the New Black and Pose.

"Clearly, the fundamental nature of bisexuality is cuffed jeans and a beanie," said Sarah Pappalardo, co-founder and editor of the satirical news site Reductress. "You know, it's just these little things, and really just pointing out the nuances of identity that are fun and relatable, and you know, let people laugh at themselves and their own culture. "Pappalardo credits Reductress' bisexual contributors for the site's most popular posts about bisexuality, and they note that several other memes are born out of social media. The hashtag #bisexual has more than 16 billion views on TikTok, more than 11 million posts on Instagram and one video on YouTube titled "How Bisexuals Sit" has more than 800,000 views.

That one specific video is one of several. It's a great example of something that started off as a joke, then went viral to the point of it now being a part of this culture of silly inside jokes and shared history among a growing bisexual community. A "bi chair" was even designed by a Brazilian artist and then actually made by a father from Iowa. "Since bisexuality is such a big tent, that we're seeing kind of like this very particular bisexual subculture spring through the internet," said Pappalardo.

"That's one way to sort of define an 'us' in a culture that often 'invisiblizes' us or erases us altogether as bisexuals," explained Julia Shaw, author of new book "Bi: The Hidden Culture, History, And Science of Bisexuality." "And so how do we identify each other, and what are our jokes? What is our community? And as part of that meme culture is almost an essential part of this point. "Shaw, a London-based psychologist and queer researcher, wants to start more open conversations about sexuality and attraction.

"I wrote a book about bisexuality because I had so many questions as a bisexual person and an academic that I wanted the answers to, and I really struggled to find," Shaw said. "Bi" is like a history book for the growing bisexual community, compiling decades of research and writings about bisexuality which were previously scattered and erased even within LGBTQ literature, as well as historically misunderstood by society as sexual deviance.

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