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Press Release

AcceptU: New Website and Podcast Explore Gender Identity and Technology

AcceptU is a new outlet for people who are going through Gender Identity problems.

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AcceptU describes itself as a community where people can tell their stories about coming out. They hope to make more people who are having a hard time feel comfortable. AcceptU believes that technology has become such a huge part of people's lives, and people get so much more support from others on the internet, than they would have before.  Therefore, the theme of the conversation on AcceptU is how technology helped people in their time of self discovery.

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Here is a story from one of the members of the community. When people send in their stories, AcceptU asks them to say their name and what they identify as. They are also asked to say tell how technology has impacted their lives or how it has helped them come out.  The site is in a blog format, so after the administrator(s) have read a story and approved it, it is then posted to the front page of the site.  

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AcceptU: The Podcast was started after the founding of AcceptU by two members of the JMAC podcast company who wanted to spread awareness of both the website and the issue it discusses.  Each week they read about another member who shared their story, and talk about it.  They plan on starting to bring the actual members onto the show for interviews soon. Since the podcast is so new, there are still a few things that they need to work out, but they are taking listener feedback and using that to improve.  

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If you wish to be featured either on the site or in the podcast, anyone can submit his or her own story through the website’s “Submit” page. Once you submit your story it will be read and reviewed and then the owner of the website will decide if it will go onto the page or not.

Cultural Fabric:

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All of the links that we provided are about gender identity. Many are about how people have been affected by this change. This is pretty much exactly what we wanted to represent in our website, article and podcast. We tried to give a variety of different links here because we wanted to show that there are currently a lot of different things going on that have to do with gender identity. While many of the links are just articles about gender identity in general, there are also a couple that are about specific things.

One of the more important links that we chose to do was one about Miley Cyrus identifying as Genderqueer. We wanted to use that because one of the stories on the AcceptU website talked about Miley Cyrus coming out and how it impacted the character. We thought it would be interesting to give a little more information about that, and because we thought it was useful to show how Miley Cyrus was using the internet and social media to share her story. That also follows into another link we decided to share, we found a story about a transgender female to male. He had been taking his hormones for a year and decided to share every step of the way in a video.

That video ties very well into the story about Gabriel, the transgender female to male child.  It’s important to that character’s story, because at some point the character would most likely start taking testosterone just like the person who made that video.  It is interesting and important to see a real-life example of the kind of story that we created on AcceptU, especially a successful one.  It brings the idea more to life, and brings the topic out of the reader’s imagination.

We wanted to get a variety of different kinds of sources, so we found a website that has all these different songs that relate to gender identity.  These songs were all posted online which was a huge part of what we focused on in our project: the internet. We wanted to show the different types of ways people are creating art that has to do with gender identity. Even though, unlike some of the other sources, it didn’t directly have to do with our project, it does tie into it all. We think it is definitely important that people who are going through things like this have support in whatever media it is in, that was really the main point of the website and the podcast.

On Control Group, another one of the links we gave, they talk about Gender and Technology. It was basically about when you have to fill in that box that asks what sex you are. The author then goes into tell us that she would rather just be labeled as who she is. Instead of filling in a box that talks about what gender she is, she wants to fill in a box that says something about their education. She wants the question to be eliminated in total to give people a sense of relief. This kind of brings up the idea that none of this is black and white or girl and boy. There are people who identify as other, which is what we wanted to show in this mix of stories we created.

The final link is to a New York Times article about design and gender fluidity.  It discusses furniture, apps, toys, and clothing.  There are two main style concepts it talks about: eclectic and neutral.  Eclectic, in this case, means that there are obvious and equal signs of both genders, but they are played with and mixed up.  An example that the article gives of this concept is the apps and games made by Toca Boca.  In it, there are all types of colors, boys, girls, but also characters that aren’t really either.  The neutral style essentially means that there is no information to push something in the direction of either female or male.  A good example given of this is Agender by Selfridges, in England.  This is an experimental section in the popular department store that has industrialist themes, and completely gender-neutral, unisex clothing, in mostly neutral colors.  The concepts of both eclectic and neutral style are interesting, and both relate to the story on our website about the gender fluid teen.  This is an increasingly common identity, so we thought it was very important to include a few sources about the topic.

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