Beyond Representation

Written by Shaadi D.

As quickly as trans women become more visible in the media and political landscape, we also see a pushback in terms of policy and the political discourse. Alongside the burgeoning images of notable trans women in select, highly visible spaces, we see a global conversation that says our presence means that the world is “going to hell in a handbasket.” 

And while individuals who can climb their way to the spotlight of being institutionally “represented,” make personal strides, trans women do not have the protections of institutional backing and suffer the most material realities of viral, targeted pushbacks.

Representation is a truly beautiful act of imagining. It is often through the act of seeing ourselves reflected in others that we even realize the call to take up the space of ourselves. As actress Laverne Cox says, our “possibility models” open a door in the imagination that allows us to truly pass into the door of our own political and social bodies. B...

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