Blogging to Counter Epistemic Injustice: Trans disabled digital micro-resistance

Sarah Cavar, Alexandre Baril

Abstract


As part of a larger research project on the intersections between transness, disability, cisgenderism (also called transphobia), and ableism/sanism, this article presents the results of a three-month netnography of blog posts made between 2013 and 2019 by selected Tumblr and off-Tumblr blogs authored by people identifying as both trans and disabled. Mobilizing a theoretical framework that combines trans and disability/crip/Mad theory and the notion of epistemic injustice, we highlight the unique possibilities of community building, connection, identity formation, and micro-practices of resistance in trans disabled digital communities. Trans disabled bloggers counter epistemic injustice by speaking back, reclaiming space, and responding to the cisgenderist and ableist/sanist micro-aggressions they experience in their daily lives. This exploration of trans disabled bloggers' micro-activism is divided into four parts. After reviewing the literature in the emerging field of trans disability studies in the first part, the second and third parts present our theoretical and methodological frameworks. Findings are presented and discussed in the three subsections of the fourth part, which delves deeper into our typology of three interrelated genres of trans disabled blog posts: informational, testimonial, and activist. As their names suggest, these genres aim respectively to: 1) inform other trans disabled internet users of identificatory possibilities; 2) testify about bloggers' lived experiences; and 3) advocate for trans disabled people through appeals to users both within and outside trans and disabled communities.


Keywords


Trans people; disabled/Mad people; gender identity; cisgenderism; ableism; sanism; netnography; blogs; micro-activism

Full Text:

HTML


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v41i2.7794

Copyright (c) 2021 Sarah Cavar, Alexandre Baril

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Volume 1 through Volume 20, no. 3 of Disability Studies Quarterly is archived on the Knowledge Bank site; Volume 20, no. 4 through the present can be found on this site under Archives.

Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact libkbhelp@lists.osu.edu.

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)