The Evolving World Of Gender Identity: Transgender At The Forefront

The Evolving World Of Gender Identity: Transgender At The Forefront

Liv Snow
Liv Snow
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At this point in our lives we should understand that gender is a socially constructed term to give people a sense of identity. We are men or we are women, that's it, right? That's far from the truth; gender expression is fluid and dynamic and not just black and white. We can identify our gender as female but choose to express ourselves in masculine ways or even identify as male and choose to express in feminine ways. It's best to see gender as a spectrum since we have a little bit of everything making up our genders.

An expression on that spectrum in transgender, when your gender expression does not match their physical sex. Most people who identify as transgender explain that they feel as though they were trapped inside their own body. Though people have identified as transgender for years, it has become more visible in the media with famous people representing and speaking out for the transgender community. Here are the people you should look out for who represent the community well.

1. Laverne Cox.

Laverne gained her fame when she starred on Netflix's original series Orange is the New Black. That role paralleled her own personal transition toward becoming the woman she always knew she was. After her performance, she became the first transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. Since rising to fame she has become an active advocate for trans rights and education for society. She has spoken about the trans community:

"The preoccupation with transition and surgery objectifies trans people. And then we don't get to really deal with the real lived experiences. The reality of trans people's lives is that so often we are targets of violence. We experience discrimination disproportionately to the rest of the community. Our unemployment rate is twice the national average; if you are a trans person of color, that rate is four times the national average. The homicide rate is highest among trans women. If we focus on transition, we don't actually get to talk about those things."

Her work has revolutionized the way the world sees the trans community and has changed the conversation from transition to expression.

2. Jazz Jennings.

Jazz is a teenager who took the world by storm when she was named as the youngest spokeswoman for trans awareness at six years old when she was a guest on The Rosie Show. At 11 years old she produced a documentary, I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition, that debuted on Oprah Winfrey's network. Shortly after she released a children's book called I Am Jazz.

Her work didn't stop there and she continued to speak out on her YouTube channel where she became a celebrity, making her the youngest and most influential spokesmodel for trans children and teens of the decade. She has done countless interviews with the media from Barbara Walters and CNN. She is a fast growing force who educates the world on understanding trans children and teens rather than shaming them. She has become a trusted and loved voice of the young trans community.

3. Bruce Jenner.


Bruce Jenner most recently expressed his identity with Diana Sawyer in mid April proclaiming, "I am a woman." Over the past years, media speculation has belittled Bruce on his personal journey to expressing himself truthfully. As a member of the Kardashian family he has lived in the spotlight for the better part of the decade, but has been struggling since he was a child with his identity. He is most famous for winning the gold medal for the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics. He expressed in his interview that he had to be this macho man like the world thought he was but explained himself quite differently.

"My brain is much more female than it is male. It's hard for people to understand that, but that's what my soul is," said Jenner.

Since expressing his current gender identity, he has received immense support from his family and the world for his honest and brave display and expression. Many comment that Bruce has just paved the way for other people who are afraid to express themselves and to finally break free.

We are part of an evolving and eclectic world that cannot be easily defined. We establish false categories of identity but the people above have shown that categories don't work and they will never work. Current examples of representations of the trans community have demonstrated on a larger scale that you cannot put humans in a box. We are not one thing or another but something entirely mixed and diverse. As we continue on I hope as a human race that we become more open with ourselves and others so we can all be a true representation of who we really are.

Cover Image Credit: Gender Expression Spectrum

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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20 Amazing Songs You Need For Your Travel Music Videos

Planning to make your new travel video? Use one of these songs as your perfect background music!

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Based on the mood you're currently feeling, here are 20 different songs categorized by when you should use them for a traveling music video:


1. For Those Classic Summer Feels

"Harvest Moon" by Poolside

"Gone" by JR JR

"Hold My Hand" by Jess Glynne

"Summer" by Calvin Harris

For all the lake adventures and mission trips, these are the perfect songs to put behind them to share your experience. Using these songs, your video can have a perfect summer vibe to it!

2. For A Good Winter Vacation

"The Days" by Avicii

"Something Just Like This" by The Chainsmokers

"Roses" by The Chainsmokers

"It Ain't Me" by Kygo ft. Selena Gomez

It's hard finding a perfect song for a cold winter day. These songs can work amazingly to any snowy adventurous video you've made for your winter break.

3. For Everyday Adventures

"Shut Up and Dance" by WALK THE MOON

"To Let Myself Go" by The Avener

"All That Matters" by Justin Bieber

"Youth" by Troye Sivan

We all have our daily vlogs filled with school and friends. These songs can put a touch of amusement and thrill to these videos!

4. For The Perfect Spring Break At The Beach

"Steal My Girl" by One Direction

"The Nights" by Avicii

"Runaways" by Galantis

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

Every girl has the perfect week at the beach once a year! These songs can show off how incredible your experience with your friends was.

5. For Those City Nights

"Bullet Train" by Stephen Swartz

"Love You Like A Love Song" by Selena Gomez

"G.O.M.D." by J. Cole

"The Heart Wants What It Wants" by Selena Gomez

We all take visits to the city and never have the right songs to make a video with. These upbeat songs will make your city vlog into a perfect travel video!

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