Out Online: Trans Self-Representation and Community Building on YouTube  book cover
1st Edition

Out Online: Trans Self-Representation and Community Building on YouTube

ISBN 9780367596620
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
238 Pages

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Book Description

Trans people are increasingly stepping out of the shadow of pathologization and secretiveness to tell their life stories, share information and to connect with like-minded others, using YouTube as a platform. Out Online: Trans Self-Representation and Community Building on YouTube explores the digital revolution of trans video blogging, addressing ’trans’ in its many meanings and configurations to examine the different ways in which the body in transformation and the vlog as a medium intersect. Drawing on rich, virtual ethnographic studies of trans video blogging, the author sheds light on the ways in which the video blog (or ’vlog’) as a multimodal medium enables trans people to tell their stories with the use of sound, text, music, and pictures - thus offering new ways to construct and archive bodily changes, and to revise the story endlessly. A groundbreaking study of the intersection between trans identity and technology, Out Online explores the transformative and therapeutic potential of the video blog as a means by which trans vloggers can emerge and develop online, using the vlog as a site for creation, intervention, community building and resistance. As such, it will appeal to social scientists and scholars of cultural and media studies with interests in gender, sexuality and embodiment.

Table of Contents


1. Trans meets screen media

2. Looking man enough? Embodiment and narratives of men and masculinity among trans male vloggers

3. ‘Sisters are doin’ it for themselves’: reappropriating trans woman as a category and spectacle through digital storytelling

4. Screen births: trans vlogs as a transformative media for self-representation

5. DIY therapy: exploring the trans video blogs as affective self-representations

6. Youtube is my hood: creating a sense of community

Epilogue: digital trans activism



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Tobias Raun is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Roskilde University, Denmark


'Out Online is a compelling, original and generous book. Raun’s scholarship is rigorous and innovative, combining an attentive, in-depth, and insightful analysis of trans vlogs with an important intervention into studies of visual culture, digital media and sexuality and gender. This is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary identities and the politics of participatory culture.' Kate O'Riordan, University of Sussex, UK