Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Phyllis Thompson

Thesis Professor Department

Literature and Language

Thesis Reader(s)

Martha Copp


Although many advocates believe that the increased representation of transgender people in mainstream fiction will lead to more understanding for the transgender community, many transgender scholars (Page, Richards) are critical of representation that is created without any involvement of actual transgender people. Some fear that the more radical perspectives of trans lives are being erased and replaced with a homogenous idea of the kinds of trans people who are “acceptable” (cárdenas). To avoid this homogeneity, it is important to allow for a multiplicity of trans perspectives and empower transgender people to have agency over their own narratives.

The goal of this project is to highlight how trans agency in story telling can benefit trans fiction and take it beyond simply providing a “trans 101” for cisgender audiences. It will also address how the internet has benefitted trans creators by providing a platform for a variety of trans voices to share their stories. By analyzing fiction that centers on transgender experience and is created by transgender people, this thesis will explore the topics and issues addressed in trans stories and the diversity in the perspectives shown. Internet-based fiction such as webcomics and web series will be examined, as well as a trans authored anthology that was funded online. Examining these stories may show us what we are missing by relying on the current homogenous mainstream representation and open our eyes to the importance of empowering transgender people to tell their own diverse, radical stories.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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