Is the trans child a queer child? Constructing normativity in Raising Ryland and I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2055-5695
  • E-ISSN: 2055-5709



While the gay child remains culturally unrepresentable, the last decade has seen an increasing number of representations of transgender children. In contrast to the incompatibility of sexuality and childhood presented by the gay child, I argue that normative conceptualizations of childhood are the very means by which the transgender child becomes available as a cultural representation. Situated at the intersections of queer theory, transgender studies and childhood studies, this article examines recent media representations of transgender children in the short documentary films Raising Ryland (Feeley, 2015) and I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition (Stocks, 2011) to discover which gendered ‘realities’ are representable as ‘real’ within the norms of language and culture, revealing how the idea of childhood itself governs possibilities for gendered being and becoming.


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