Reddit and the Trans Community

All over different social media networks, the fight for Transgender rights is a public and vocal one. From Facebook and Twitter (the typical go to platforms) all the way to Reddit, there is a trend of similar activity and themes discussing Trans rights, laws, safe spaces, etc. With the recent election, there has been a great deal of activity all over social media of different groups discussing the various possible futures they hold depending on who would win the Presidency, and other state positions. Just as on Facebook, Reddit is an open forum in which users can post, share, discuss, and read about different topics based on particular tags, searches, links, and more. Most of the topics and conversations I uncovered on Reddit about Trans lives and rights were related to the issues seen on both Facebook and Twitter. The biggest difference was between Twitter and Reddit, but mostly because of the structure of the two mediums. Reddit is a conversational, sharing, commenting type of space, where Twitter is a space that shoots out quick pieces of information, thoughts, jokes, etc. in 140 characters or less. So, where Twitter is more of a place to share headlines, make a quick statement, or share an inspiring thought, Reddit is a place to share comments, ideas, and have a conversation about the topic, not to just see it and move on.

From what I’ve seen on Reddit most of the themes and issues are very similar to those on the other social platforms. The types of issues presented on the Reddit pages include discussions about Trans rights post Obama with Trump, laws changing, media prejudice, and of course real life examples of how the law and society affect the way Trans individuals are able to live their lives (like this, a screreddit-5en grab of a post discussing how a judge had to rule in on whether a 4-year-old can choose to wear “boys” and “girls” clothes)
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The website uses discussion boards to bring attention to other situations, such as an opinion piece about the New York reddit-7Times promoting transphobia, or a governor losing hisreddit-1
position in re-election due to anti-LGBTQ stances. All of these topics have at one point been addressed in some way on Facebook and Twitter as well; it’s just another forum with a different audience. For example, discussion about the Trans bathroom battle has been seen across all social platforms. Trans advertising as well, Reddit circulated an ad done by Secret deodorant where we’ve seen similar advertisements and promotions done by figures such as Laverne Cox.

The biggest difference between the conversations here and there are the people involved. On Twitter and Facebook there are big names talking about Trans rights and lives, but on Reddit, I haven’t noticed that. It could be that they are hidden in anonymity through usernames, but based on the type of media shared and the conversations shown, the style is different from the influential users on the other social platforms. It’s not that surprising in my opinion that there isn’t evidence of people like Laverne Cox or organizations like the ACLU or the reddit-2Trevor Project leading conversations on Reddit. This forum isn’t one that gets much outside attention,
it links to other sources and connects on the same topics, but maybe a different type of user is more involved here than on Facebook or Twitter.

Overall, Reddit is as equally interesting of a place as Facebook and Twitter to roam around and discover what others are thinking about. I was surprised to realize that it doesn’t generate multiple types of opinions the way the other two sites do. Instead of having a post about Transphobia in the New York Times where individuals would riddle the comments for and against Trans rights, Reddit posts typically (from the research I’ve done thus far, so this may be a generalization) contain comments and discussion from individuals already thinking about the post. By this I mean, Reddit posts don’t have the same back and forth comments, there may be some variety with the degree in which people agree with the topic, but there doesn’t seem to be polar opposite positions. I would attribute this to the style of Reddit, in which users will typically search for topics to browse themselves, so it may be less likely that users are subjected to the same vastness of positions on a topic.

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