#GirlsLikeUs: Trans advocacy and community building online

Sarah J. Jackson*, Moya Bailey, Brooke Foucault Welles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


In this research, we examine the advocacy and community building of transgender women on Twitter through methods of network and discourse analysis and the theory of networked counterpublics. By highlighting the network structure and discursive meaning making of the #GirlsLikeUs network, we argue that the digital labor of trans women, especially trans women of color, represents the vanguard of struggles over self-definition. We find that trans women on Twitter, led by Janet Mock and Laverne Cox, and in response to histories of misrepresentation and ongoing marginalization and violence, deliberately curate an intersectional networked counterpublic that works to legitimize and support trans identities and advocate for trans autonomy in larger publics and counterpublics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1868-1888
Number of pages21
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • #GirlsLikeUs
  • Counterpublics
  • Transgender
  • Twitter
  • discourse analysis
  • hashtags
  • network analysis
  • online advocacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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