an Find them on Instagram and TikTok platforms through accounts with submitted and regular content. In their bios, smileys in the colors of the transgender, gay, bisexual and transgender flags often mention the pronouns they identify with (he/she/el/they/it/it, etc.). Can you influence others through your gender identity or sexuality? What is the effect of transgender influencers on their subscribers, some of whom have become unconditional fans?
“Jade, you won’t be able to change attitudes on the transgender issue,” one could read as a headline in one of the contents of transgender influencer Jade, alias jade.cve. In her videos, the young transgender woman opens up without a filter and a lot of humor: “Reach into an apartment full of guys and you have to say hi in a deep voice,” or even “when he shakes my hand and doesn’t kiss because I’m transgender,” she says in the video. Using heartwarming and often ironic anecdotes, Jade has nearly 350,000 followers on TikTok and posts glimpses of her daily life on her Instagram account. Her popularity is due to her frankness, and also to the secrets of her life, in particular her addiction problems. For subscribers to her channel, she is an idol, some even create “fan” accounts where they praise her beauty and share their admiration for the influencer.
“Move, not shift!”
Same for dianatomix, followed by more than 700,000 people on TikTok who liked his look on fan accounts. Diana, a young transgender woman, opens her social networks without any filtering and shares tips about her daily life to her subscribers. Jade and Diana do not hesitate to answer the most private questions of their subscribers, who are very curious: “You are great, but I just wanted to know how you do it so that we do not see the bottom?” For example, she asks a young subscriber to invoke the wrath of the influencer who runs her and answers It’s in a video tutorial.
And transgender influencers seem to be very successful with young people, fascinated by what they call “transformation.” “Transition, not metamorphosis,” continues Diana patiently, who never hesitates to do what she calls “pedagogy” to her subscribers in what she believes could be “transformation-hating.” While early influencers were known for specific content related to their profession or creativity, transgender influencers play the full sheet of transparency. This is the case of 18-year-old Louise, pseudonym @louiiseprt, used in social networks. Just released from the hospital for a mammoplasty, the transgender woman in a soft, tired voice testifies to her career as an influencer.
I was insulted for not meeting the criteria of a popular transgender woman according to TikTok users, a very feminine, long-haired trans woman.
“I started communicating at a very young age, but it wasn’t about a transition, although I did talk about it briefly on my YouTube channel. I was researching myself a bit and started working mentally at the age of 13 and assumed my transition on social networks at the age of 16 A year, when she started hormone therapy, Louise was too young to testify to her transgender identity on social media, and admit that she had a lot of trouble managing the waves of hate. “I turned off the comments below my posts when my videos were ringing. I was offended, because I didn’t fit the criteria of a popular transgender woman according to TikTok users, i.e. a very feminine, long-haired trans woman,” Louise says.
Read alsoChanging gender is not easyDuring confinement, Louise, who is still a minor, focused her TikTok content exclusively on her trans identity. Not long after the success and the teen tells her parents about it, she is thrilled to make millions of views. “I’ve also been following transgender influencers, especially Jade who helped me think about my content and inspired me so much for my transition. I looked at her testimonials, and her makeup ideas, because I wanted to feminize my face at any cost, even if it meant putting on a lot of makeup.” Transparent, Louise openly discusses the operations she performs, sometimes surprising her subscribers and playing on the “before / after” effects.
In the minds of subscribers
Jules is 16 years old and follows several accounts on TikTok that deal with gender issues. “I guess I’m not bi, even if I think a lot about the question and tell myself by watching the content,” the teen identifies, comforted by the idea that we can gender her as masculine, feminine, or even neutral. For Jules, transgender and non-binary influencers have become his “happiness bubble,” as he puts it. “I live in a village in Maine where we don’t ask ourselves these questions. In my high school, we don’t talk about it and I don’t presume myself in my search for sex, even with my friends. When I come home from class, I need my own moments when I’m browsing and listening to people Others put words to how I feel,” Jules explains.
By the end of his university studies, Jules became more and more interested in issues of gender fluidity and took time to find accounts that matched him: “At one point, I wondered if I wasn’t transgender, but by discovering accounts like @lucaismagic (in English) or queer_bienveillante in France, I was able to better understand what I was like thanks to their testimonies and examples. I told myself all the time: He’s like me except I don’t have the knowledge to say it right,” Jules recalls.
Read alsoMontell – Olympics 2022: On gender stereotypes, Timothy Le Duc breaks the icePaloma is only 18 years old and has been following Louise for some time, with whom she has since become friends. Paloma, a transgender woman, joined social networks at the age of 13, and explained how Louise and another influencer had affected her trans identity: “I came across Louise’s content by chance, she was talking about her transition and about being a teenager and going through the medical transition, with all that ensues I felt tremendous help, and also and above all from the content of Laura Badler (influencer, transgender and videographer, editor’s note) because I realized I was not alone, that it was possible, and I could do it, I was looking for relief and good advice!
For the transgender woman, if transgender is not a profession, she nonetheless believes that transgender influencers are very important to the LGBT community. “Many think of the LGBT community as one gender and exclusively homosexuality, and that boils down to gay men. Our role as people through social networks is to show that we lived within that community. For Paloma, who believes that there are indeed many identities Trans people like transgender people, her desire to launch herself on social media is based on some form of confession: “When I was 13 I say that later when I moved on to ‘I’m going to talk about it because I got a lot of help on social media, so I’ve It’s my turn to respond in kind. Categorically, Paloma also believes that transgender influencers are “general good,” because many other influencers don’t make use of their appearance enough to engage in causes of inclusion.
Transgender influencers, shrink new?
By viewing access content about gender and trans identity, can a teen suspect his or her gender? For Louise, the question arises, and she attempts to answer it by measuring the weight her influence can have on teens: “I think if a young man regularly views my content or other transgender content, it’s not a coincidence. But that doesn’t necessarily mean He’s also transgender. He might be wondering about something else, like his sexuality, but it’s important to delve into that, and with a professional, because it’s a risk to take these questions lightly.”
Louise’s subscribers regularly ask her in private messages to give their opinion, or even make a diagnosis. “I try to answer as best I can, it’s not up to me to make the diagnosis, but to the specialists. I’m not a psychiatrist, I can only talk about my experience, but I quickly direct my subscribers to make an appointment, because there are always risks of not moving,” Louise insists. The influencer also wants to start diversifying her content, so that it isn’t cataloged just about her transgender identity or sexuality.
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After reviewing these testimonials, Joanna Rosenblum, Clinical Psychologist and author of the book Hypersensitivity: How to make it an asset (Apen Editions), aims to decode the power these influencers can have over their teen subscribers. “We all need idols and icons. When you’re a teenager, you sever that bond with your parents and look for new idols outside the family to separate yourself from the family environment and try to define who you are,” explains Joanna Rosenblum. For the specialist, the period of influence during adolescence is not a period of influence, but a period of research in which the adolescent rubs his shoulders with new discourses, even if it means holding on to or, conversely, rejecting what he discovers.
“We are looking for a mirror, an identity, something we wish to take care of and, above all, people who have lived or are living the same path as us and who can provide us with the answers to our questions. Joanna Rosenblum sees no danger in this, but she encourages parents to inculcate free will in their children and believes there is little risk that the effect will turn into subjugation.Joanna Rosenblum concludes: “This generation is much less vulnerable than you think, it’s unconstrained and trying, even if it means holding back, which I think is a good strategy.”