In the maelstrom that is San Diego Comic Con, a glimmer of something intersectional and awesome has emerged. Not only will SDCC feature more female friendly content, but this year there will also be the first ever trans-specific panel in the history of the con, titled Breaking Barriers: Transgender Trends in Popular Culture.
Panel moderator Tara Avery shared the following with SheWired:
“We want to focus on the emerging visibility of the trans community with this panel. That presents a challenge if we want to confine the discussion to mainstream comics. There are no major trans characters in any of the Big Three’s books right now. Instead we chose to focus on other publishing venues. Trans creators and characters have found homes in small press comics and webcomics where there are fewer corporate restraints and creators can remain true to themselves and their vision.”
While the panel is primarily focused on trans creators and characters in the small press setting, this not only emphasizes the lack of representation in Big Three titles, but more importantly, the trans experience in comics. The representation this panel affords to trans comics creators and consumers is so very important, especially since internally and externally, comics is still a medium that is routinely purported as created for straight white men, by straight white men. This panel says it loud and clear: the trans community is a part of the comics community. Trans people are creating comics. Trans people are consuming comics. Because comics are for everyone.
Though this may just be a small step in the right direction, it is an opportunity for a community that faces serious media erasure to have a voice, to be recognized, and to be present. And being present is powerful, especially at one of the most mainstream comics and media culture events on the globe.
For those currently braving the trenches of SDCC this year, Breaking Barriers: Transgender Trends in Popular Culture is this Thursday, July 24 at 5 p.m. at room 28DE.