Serena's Un-Essay Proposal

My proposal for the Anthropology 208 un-essay is an exploration of the linguistic communities of practice that coalesce around trans people on the internet. Trans people have unique experiences, and as such we come up with unique ways of expressing those experiences. Some potential sub-topics include how we see our identities evolving over time and how we see ourselves before we realized, terms and discourses around our bodies and appearances, conflicts within trans communities, how we fit into and stand out from cis society, and how we talk about changes. I, naturally, am very aware of these within my own circles and generally knowledgeable about those within the trans community as a whole, but I still need to track down sources beyond the anecdotal from my perspective.

The focus on this will be my own specific circles, and as such will have some weaknesses. Primary among them is that trans people on the internet are pretty much the definition of vulnerable. Furthermore, my circles are mostly British and American, mostly white, mostly middle-class, mostly teens and young adults, mostly neurodivergent, mostly transfeminine, and mostly very online.

It is hopefully apparent that I want to present my un-essay as a webpage. A webpage is thematically appropriate, considering this is about internet communities, and I want to take the chance to develop my HTML skills. This format will also enable me to easily embed images and insert links throughout. For the final result I want to imitate a Discord server and contain different sections of the essay in separate channels, though lack of time or skill may prevent me from doing this. Regardless, I intend to make this thing really pretty.

I am also going to create a glossary of the language used in trans communities. While some readers will understand every little connotation of a term, others will have no clue what I'm talking about without some significant background information.

Here is a list of some inspirational references I will probably use, though it's more to give a starting idea and is not complete.

Furthermore, there are several posts on Tumblr I would like to reference, several of which have helped me navigate my own identity and have influenced how I see the world. According to Tumblr's privacy policy, all posts on the site are considered to be public. However, posts are directly connected to blogs, which can contain identifying information and other things the poster may not want to be known beyond their own circles. As such, I don't think I can properly cite Tumblr posts because of the heaps of ethical concerns. Any references, then, will not be properly cited, but just vaguely alluded to and rephrased in my own words.