TRANSforming Spaces

When I first started reading TRANSforming Spaces, I was surprised because I had never thought about the library and archives as being a space that caused for an underrepresentation of transgender-based material. The statements that Hatfield makes in TRANSforming Spaces such as “libraries and archives need to proactively include community voices and challenge normative practices that have disenfranchised transgender users.” make me wonder about our own library and archives. I have never searched the archives or the library to even see if they have content that represents transgender users but if they do not have any source material that is representative of transgender people, I feel like they are doing a disservice to not only Whitman but Walla Walla as the entire community that have access to the library and the archives.

Another fascinating statement that Hatfield makes is “the transgender community has yet to achieve the visibility that gay and lesbian communities have, and has been said to be twenty years behind gays and lesbians in terms of rights.” This statement really struck me because I feel as if I have been blind in attempting to incorporate the transgender community as well as the gay and lesbian communities. I noticed that at moments such as the pride parade, my mind is focused on the acceptance of gay and lesbian communities but for some reason when I am there celebrating acceptance, the thought of incorporating transgender communities separate from the other LGBTQ communities did not cross my mind for some reason. However, reading this article has made me realize that I need to think more about how transgender people are being represented in our community, whether that is through the library and the archives or just through daily life in general.

This article also reminded me of the comic book presentation that Megan, Shana, and Katherine did on The Prince And The Dressmaker because it parallels to the comic the Hatfield refers to, Mahou Shonen FIGHT! Because both of the main characters in the comic are very gender fluid and even though they cross dress in order to transform into someone else, their gender is never defined, leaving it open to the reader to interpret it as they wish. I believe that these sorts of comics that purposefully make a point to incorporate all genders, ethnicities, and sexualities, etc. are very scarce in Whitman’s library and archives. However, I did not really look at this as such a pressing issue until I read Hatfields argument. But now, after reading TRANSforming Spaces, I am going to be aware of how libraries, archives, and community spaces incorporate the transgender community.

When Hatfield discussed how the internet opened up a whole new world to consumers through participatory culture, it reminded me of the web comics that we have read and also of some of the fanfiction that I have read online. I really enjoy reading these works because the consumers are able to comment on the post and therefore the author is able to take the consumers feedback and possibly add that into their next work that they publish.

Here is the comic from Alyssa that I liked the best:

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