Discussion Queer and Trans Media Online

Discussion on Queer and Trans Media Online
Aymar Jean Christian, founder of Open TV, has provided a space for Chicago based artists and producers to create media surrounding the concepts of queer and intersectional individuals. The Open TV platform is home to many web series, most notably being the Emmy nominated “Brown Girls” which we discussed in module 4 “Contesting the Whiteness of LGBTQ Histories”. For the past 10 years, Christan has been exploring the concept of representation within television and the role that the internet plays in this. The series “the T” that we are viewing this week has been produced on Open TV by Bea Cordelia and Daniel Kyri, a trans woman and queer black man who play characters that mirror their personal identifications.
An article by “The Daily Beast” reviews “the T” while including excerpts from an interview held with Cordelia and Kyri. Samantha Allen, the author of the article, discusses the show’s purpose and the importance of transgender and black queer characters within television. Allen writes “there were only 17 transgender characters on TV in the 2017-2018 season with regular or recurring roles—and only 40 black LGBTQ characters” (Allen). Juxtaposing these statistics with excerpts from the interview held with “the T” creators allows readers to get a sense for the space that this show has held within cultivating discourse through the underrepresentation present within television. Utilizing Open TV’s platform, Cordelia and Kyri state that they are not trying to dominate the conversation but rather inspire other creators to imitate and continue showcasing these groups.
Our second author assigned this week is Dr. Morse. While we all are familiar with Dr. Morse as our professor, they also have completed vast research into the concepts of agency, self-representation, authorship, and spectatorship within media, most specifically through the lens of “selfies” and the creation of these images, their relational aspects, and the meaning they can hold. This research is more thoroughly explained within the reading this week, giving us a look into Dr. Morse’s research as well as the ties this research has to our understanding of an individual’s interactions with their intersectionality and identity.
Allen, S. (2018, June 19). Is ‘the T’ the Queer TV Show We’ve All Been Waiting For? Retrieved
November 10, 2020, from https://www.thedailybeast.com/is-the-t-the-queer-tv-show-weve-all-been-waiting-for
Link to article: https://www.thedailybeast.com/is-the-t-the-queer-tv-show-weve-all-been-waiting-for
Link to actual show: https://vimeo.com/channels/thet/275676434
Christian, Aymar. “The Value of Representation: Toward a Critique of Networked Television
Performance.” International Journal of Communication [Online], 11 (2017): 23. Web. 9 Nov. 2020
Link: https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/5697/1993
Morse, N. E. “Authenticity, Captioned: Hashtags, Emojis, and Visibility Politics in Alok Vaid-Menon’s
Selfie Captions”. M/C Journal, vol. 20, no. 3, June 2017, doi:10.5204/mcj.1240.
Link: https://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/view/1240
Discussion Questions:
1. Aymar Jean Christian discusses Quare network development, focusing on exhibition and performance, as a means of cultivating discourse surrounding queer intersectional television. What does Christian mean by “cultural value” and how can culture be “valuable”? How is this focus on cultural value rather than production value seen within The T?
2. Dr. Morse’s “Authenticity, Captioned: Hashtags, Emojis, and Visibility Politics in Alok Vaid Menon’s Selfie Captions” discusses Vaid-Menon’s use of Instagram in challenging beliefs of authenticity, visibility, and representation in performative media. How does the individual authenticity that Vaid-Menon challenges compare to the cultural authenticity that Aymar Jean Christan advocates for? How do these two forms of authenticity work together in cultivating discourse?\
Each answer should be about 150 words.

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