Posted by: corrinebuchanan | October 21, 2012

What is the media’s role?

This week I listened to a story from the 2009 season of This American Life titled, “Somewhere Out There.” Act two of the episode called, “Tom Girls,” is about two eight year old girls who were both born as boys. They meet one another at a conference and immediately become best friends. In this episode they talk about their likes and their dislikes, their school and their friends. They also talk about how they are viewed as different and are bullied by their peers. One of the girls comments, “I kind of feel really sad that people don’t respect us and nobody really likes to be my friend.”

When interviewing the parents, one of the moms mentions how it was the neighbors and the parents that were concerned and were calling the school, spreading rumors, and were at times the initiators of the harassment.

There is a significant lack of representation of transgender people or people that differ from societies norm in the media. This absence breads unawareness, misunderstandings and fear. I also believe it has a direct affect on the prevalence of bullying in our community. Do you believe that the media plays a role in bullying? How would an increase in transgender representation change our society?

Here is an excerpt from the episode.

 G1 – I just think of myself a lot of the times as a regular kid.

 G2 – As a boy or a girl?

 G1 – No a lot of the time I just think of myself as a regular person. Regular. Just any regular person because I don’t feel like I’m different.

You can listen to whole episode at


  1. Here’s the link to that article I mentioned during class discussion about the transgender twin and her family. The writer does a great job of bringing readers into this family’s world in a powerfully beautiful way.

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