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Trans, transgender, cisgender: we are what we name ourselves
12 August 2014 | Eloise Brook | Lecturer in Media Writing and Public Relations at Victoria University

Transgender and gender non-conforming lives are becoming increasingly visible. Debate about the lives and legitimacy of trans people is being conducted in the most mainstream of media outlets: Time magazine magazine is discussing Laverne Cox, People is featuring model Andrej Pejic’s sex reassignment surgery, and the New Yorker is taking on the fraught relationship between trans activists and radical feminists.

Trans people may be in the news – but the terms we use to discuss gender aren’t always well understood. To better understand the debate about gender diversity, we need to look more closely at the language we use, especially terms such as trans and cisgender.

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Shereen El Feki: A little-told tale of sex and sensuality
Published on 21 Jan 2014 | YouTube

“If you really want to know a people, start by looking inside their bedrooms,” says Shereen El Feki, who traveled through the Middle East for five years, talking to people about sex. While those conversations reflected rigid norms and deep repression, El Feki also discovered that sexual conservatism in the Arab world is a relatively new thing. She wonders: could a re-emergence of public dialogue lead to more satisfying, and safer, sex lives?

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