Sexuality and Culture

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 24–52 | Cite as

Coming to terms: Using technology to know identity

  • Darryl B. Hill

Abstract

Recent advances in information and communication technologies have led some cultural theorists to hypothesize that Western society is undergoing a dramatic change in ways of knowing one’s self and identity. Cases in point are those people who identify as “trans” (i.e., cross-dressers, transsexuals, transgendered persons). In the first half of the twentieth century, trans persons had very limited contact, if any, with others like themselves. The argument of cultural theorists is that increasingly sophisticated information and communication technologies have encouraged the development of trans communities across North America. An analysis of the narratives in an oral history project involving Toronto’s trans community largely supports the assertions of project involving Toronto’s trans community largely supports the assertions of cultural theorists. The majority of respondents felt communication technologies played a central role in their developing sense of gender. Communication technologies generally provided a sense of connection with others, alleviated the isolation and loneliness, and provided hope by showing that a trans person’s life was possible. However, many respondents also reported critical misgivings about communication technologies and their influence on trans subjectivities.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Darryl B. Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Staten IslandCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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