“My community is still stigmatized..”

The Reframed Stories Project asks people to respond to dominant themes and issues that appear in news coverage about their communities. These stories are reflections by people who are frequently represented by others in the media. Word clouds are created using the Media Cloud platform, a data analysis tool which examines a collection of media outlets over a specific period of time, allowing participants to analyze and discuss the preliminary insights into how they might be represented in the media. The project refrains from making conclusive pronouncements about the data, and instead is a starting point that creates space for discussion about how they can help shape their own media representation through digital media.

Devy Andreina Grijalva is a member of Wambra Radio, a community radio station in Quito, Ecuador and self-identifies as a member of the “sexo-genéricas” community. The following is a transcript of the video about Devy's analysis of the word cloud for the term, “transexual” (transsexual).

Dominant words from articles published between January 2017 and April 2018 mentioning “transexual” (143 articles) within 2 Media Cloud collections of Ecuador’s Spanish-language media outlets. (view larger image)

What about the word cloud drew your attention most?

Se sigue encontrando palabras como ‘discriminación’, ‘violencia’ también palabras a favor como ‘lucha’ como ‘prejuicios’ y también existen unas palabras que a mí me llaman mucho la atención y es como ‘convertirse’ o ‘se convirtió’ o ‘se llamaba’ aludiendo que lo trans es una transformación.

We still find words like ‘discrimination,’ ‘violence,’ as well as words in favor such as ‘struggle’ and ‘prejudices.’ There are also some words that catch my attention such as ‘becoming’ or ‘became’ or ‘was called’ alluding that trans is a transformation.

According to the word cloud, how has the transsexual community been represented in the media?

No encontramos palabras a nivel de políticas públicas como ‘educación’, ‘salud’, ‘trabajo’, y mucho menos al enfatizar un ‘buen vivir,’ un ‘beneficio’, un ‘logro’ o una ‘vida plena’ de las transexuales. Eso no se encuentra en las palabras que se mapearon en [la nube de palabras].

We do not find words at the level of public policies such as ‘education’, ‘health’, ‘employment’, and much less when emphasizing ‘good living,’ a ‘benefit’, an ‘achievement’ or a ‘complete life’ by transsexuals. That cannot be found in the words that were mapped in [the word cloud].

How should the transsexual community be represented in the media?

Realmente yo considero que mi comunidad sigue siendo estigmatizada y no le ven o no le dan ningún punto positive, simplemente son cosas negativas en cuanto a violencia, en cuanto a discriminación, en cuanto a faltas y realmente la mirada de los medios no se centra en profundizar o sacar a la luz ejemplos vivenciales o vivos de personas trans que están en la sociedad.

I really think that my community is still stigmatized and they do not see us in any positive light. Only negativity is shown in terms of violence, discrimination, or faults. The media’s view does not focus on deepening [understanding] or bringing to light living examples of trans people in society.

What words should a word cloud for ‘transsexual’ have?

Yo considero que, la visibilidad tanto del activismo y de la comunicación es tan importante y la única forma que se puede topar más narrativas y presencia en medios de comunicación en las personas trans, realmente es exponiendo ya las vidas de cada una, porque cada una tiene vidas distintas y eso es lo que se debería de llegar a la sociedad, presentar las personas trans con ejemplos simples, con visiones simples también de cómo se puede trabajar y existir en la sociedad.

I believe that the visibility of both activism and communication is so important and the only way that we can find more narratives and media presence of trans people is by showing the lives of each one. Each one has a different life. That is what should be achieved in society, to present trans people with simple examples, with simple visions, and how one can work and exist in society.

This is part of a Rising Frames series developed in close collaboration with the organization El Churo based in Quito, Ecuador. They organized a workshop held on April 21, 2018 in Quito that brought together representatives from various collectives and groups to examine how they or issues they care about are represented in a collection of Ecuadorian media and created stories in response to that representation.

Mónica Bonilla assisted with the transcription and translation, which was edited for clarity and length.

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