Social Media Offers Hope and Harm

There is so much harm the Internet and its new communication methods can do. For example, social media allows schoolyard bullies to anonymously follow teenagers into what could/should be a safe haven, their home. As long as you’re connected you’re also connected to your bullies. Sadly, teenagers then often see no other way out than ending their lives (CN: suicide)

However, the Internet also allows teens that are struggling and/or are isolated at school and at home to find a community they can connect to. Communities they might not otherwise have access to, based on location or ability. 

In her powerful memoir Redefining Realness, Janet Mock mentions this aspect of social media as a very positive thing for trans youth: 

“When support and education for trans youth are absent, feelings of isolation and hopelessness can worsen. Coupled with families who might be intolerant and ill equipped to support a child, young trans people must deal with identity and body issues alone and in secret. The rise of social media and online resources has lessened the deafening isolation for trans people. If they have online access, trans people can find support and resources on YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, and various other plattforms where trans folks of all ages are broadcasting their lives, journeys, and even social and medical transitions. Still, the fact remains that local trans-inclusive support and positive media reflections of trans people are rare outside of major cities like Los Angeles, New York, Portland, and Seattle.” p. 118

What this quote also shows is that we can’t rely on the Internet to satisfy our need for information and community.  The Internet does not make your physical location, your physical sphere meaningless. Otherwise young people wouldn’t still move to major cities/areas like Berlin or Silicon Valley in large numbers.

The Internet does add options, and that can be a very, very good thing.

Janet Mock returned to Piers Morgan’s show to explain to him what was so offensive about the way his show framed the interview with her. Mr Morgan calls himself an ally to trans* people and their issues, but like many doesn’t really understand them. I don’t want to accuse Morgan and his production team of malice, but they do show an ignorant clinging to a false, rigid gender binary that many in society show.

I myself was fairly ignorant on this topic until a few years ago. I didn’t receive the education that broadened my view purely through academic gender studies (that did help) but through activists and writers like Janet Mock or through (as silly it might sound to people who still prioritize old-fashioned established media) the network of blogs, tumblrs I discovered following links on the Internet.

I hope the publicity surrounding Janet Mock, her book, and these interviews with Piers Morgan will be a starting point for more people to educate themselves on this topic and shake of their ignorance.


The interview was of course followed by a panel featuring Mr. Morgan and 3 cis-people, only one of whom – Marc Lamont Hill – understood even the basics. So the panel quickly turned problematic. Amy Holmes claimed that the problem Ms. Mock has is “semantic.” In Ben Fergueson the panel also had the ubiquitous shouty conservative, who framed Ms. Mock being transgender as mental illness and as a ploy to sell books, referencing the weird scientists and doctors that always seem to be there to support the claimed reality shouty conservative always shouts about.

Chelsea Manning



I guess we can’t really do anything about the fact that she is gong is going to jail, but is there at least something one could do to get Chelsea Manning into the right jail, a women’s facility? That she gets the treatment she deserves?

it looks like she doesnt want to be sent to a women’s prison. not sure how legit that source is but yea. i am interested in finding out what we can do to get her HRT though.

Interesting. I checked, this doesn’t pop up in all, but some articles covering Manning’s statement. Sure, she should be in the prison she prefers to be in. I agree, the main issue besides security is whether or not she gets HRT etc. At this point I’d also like to recommend again the Janet Mock article I just shared. 

This post is about our health as trans people, about how we’re told daily that who we are is not “necessary,” and about how disposable we are to this government, which fails to extend healthcare coverage to all its citizens. Having access to quality, sensitive, knowledgeable healthcare without bias and stigma has been a lifelong personal battle of mine, mirroring that of the siblings who came before me and the ones I fight alongside today. The only reason I am here today and am able to write is because I traveled an underground railroad of resources that gave me access to all the things that were medically necessary and vital to my survival as a young trans woman.

Chelsea Manning & Transgender Healthcare In & Out of Prison | Janet Mock

So many reactions to Chelsea Manning’s statement were horrible, but that was sadly to be expected. I’d recommend that you don’t read the documentation, read this essay by the amazing Janet Mock.


Janet Mock used more accurate language to describe the royal baby: 

For interested people who can read German, Nicole at kleinerdrei wrote about the question “Was wird es denn?” (“What [gender] is it going to be?), why the question is terribly annoying and simply not easily answerable.

[…] I feel love has no gender, no body, no boundaries. It is we who put such limits and restrictions and rules on something so intimate and pure. Yet I know definitions and words and labels help us shape our world, and even reach back to bell hooks who posits in All About Love, “Imagine how much easier it would be for us to learn how to love if we began with a shared definition.”

hooks goes on to quote psychiatrist M. Scott Peck: ”Love is as love does. Love is an act of will-namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.” […]

And in Ocean acting to love this man by revealing his heart to him despite the boundaries we all put on him and the disappointing outcome of this unrequited love, he is revolutionary, and the bravest sort. But what is also implicit in his public letter to us is that he, in his act of choosing to love despite gender, Ocean also chooses to love himself without restrictions. And if more of our people chose to love themselves, they would protect their hearts and bodies in every act of love. […]