Transgender writers have been gaining ground over the past few years, appearing in various respected titles including the New Statesman, the Guardian and the Times. Now, with new digital publication META, we finally have our own platform. META isn’t just for trans people though, it’s for anyone who’s ready for lively, intelligent discussion about gender – something we don’t always see in the mainstream media. Be sure to check out META’s Facebook page, follow META on Twitter, and keep an eye our for when it goes on sale! You can also read META’s mission statement here, featuring a promotional clip with Lewis Hancox from Channel 4’s My Transsexual Summer. Lewis also appears in the magazine, giving his side of the story following criticisms from the online trans community. Sneak preview below.
O what is it in me that makes me tremble so at voices?
Surely, whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her I shall follow,
As the water follows the moon, silently, with fluid steps, anywhere around the globe.
Isolation can be a real problem for trans people, but even those of us with good social networks can be excluded from mainstream culture. Research conducted by Trans Media Watch revealed that 95% of British trans people feel like the media doesn’t care about them. So welcome, then, to a publication that not only cares, but positively depends on you.
What do we mean by “trans” though? You probably have your own definition, but we use it in the most inclusive sense; covering all types of genderqueer, genderless, transsexual, gender variant and gender non-conforming people, and also those with a trans history, loved-ones, family, friends and allies. It’s an idea which is sometimes expressed using ‘trans*’, but we’ve opted against the asterix. This is partly a question of style, but also a matter of principle. We believe that everyone should feel welcome under the trans umbrella, regardless of punctuation. Roz Kaveney wonderfully outlines this broad concept of family on Page 23.
I believe in our community. I’ve noticed increasing optimism over the past few years, and a growing sense that we can effect real change. So we’re delighted to have Justin Bond on our first cover. A true star, both within and without the trans community, we feel v sums up our outward-looking, upbeat ethos.
META is about having a voice. We’re produced by trans people for trans people – whilst never excluding our allies. We focus on the issues that matter to you, so expect campaigns, politics and, of course, lashings of humour. We have plans to expand our content over the coming months and we want you to let us know if we’re getting it right. We listen.
Indeed, we asked you how you’d feel about a trans magazine using the word “tranny” – and over 60 per cent of you said “unhappy”. So don’t expect to read the t-word in META, apart from when we report other people’s speech. Or indeed when we discuss the term, as Natacha Kennedy and Dru Marland do in our debut debate (Pages 6 and 7).
Issue one has been produced on zero budget. I would personally like to thank our hardworking team of top quality writers, photographers, designers, illustrators and marketers, who have given so much of their time for free. I hope you’ll enjoy engaging with META as much as we did making it. And we loved every minute of it.