Trans scripts | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 20, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437



In the Netherlands, transgender people are increasingly becoming the focus of media attention, both in written media and on television. The question we raise in this article is whether the sudden popularity of trans people in the Dutch media can be seen as a moment of interruption and destabilising through which the contours of new paths of gender identification become imaginable, or whether, upon closer scrutiny, the media coverage of trans lives merely or mostly reinforces dominant, binary gender ideologies. We use the concept of ‘transgender scripts’ to explore the particularities of the representation of trans people in three national newspapers as well as two television programmes in the time frame 1991-2016. Trends in media reporting show that, in recent years, it has become more common to speak of transgender persons in affirmative ways. This affirmation, however, seems to come more easily when trans narratives confirm norms of gender, whiteness, youth, and national identity. We, therefore, argue for the inclusion of (sub-cultural) trans perspectives that show the variety in gender identity, including also non-binary identities, as well as cultural background and social and bodily experiences.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): media; Netherlands; representation; scripts; transgender
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