Australian news media’s representation of Cate McGregor, the highest ranking Australian transgender military officer

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    Abstract

    To date, no academic analysis has investigated the representation of transgender individuals by Australia’s news media (ANM). This paper conducts a discourse analysis of ANM’s representation of Cate McGregor, the highest ranking Australian transgender military officer. The author offers this analysis as a case study in which 28 articles were selected from a three-year period, beginning November 2012, when McGregor ‘came out’. By employing a feminist and transgender theory framework the author concludes that, on the one hand, ANM reproduces traditional transgender tropes (e.g. publishing ‘before/after’ photographs). On the other hand, ANM gives voice to McGregor’s views pertaining to living as a woman and a transgender woman, which are aligned with transgender theory. Thus, this author argues that ANM engages in a remediation of transgender theory. McGregor acknowledges that she has enjoyed the privilege of being socialized as a man and therefore her life as a woman, a transgender woman is different to other women. Moreover, as an ‘out’ transgender woman she is refusing to ‘pass’ and hide her sex/gender history. Subsequently, McGregor views on what it means to be a man, a woman, and a transgender woman, are disruptive to sex/gender normativities and she thereby embodies a ‘gender fuck’.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)683-693
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Gender Studies
    Volume27
    Issue number6
    Early online date2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2018

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