The new Snapchat filter allows users to alter images of themselves to make them look like a different gender – and the transgender community are divided about it.
Results from the filter have swept across the internet, as people post light-hearted Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pictures, as well as jokes about what happens when they try the filter.
However, whilst some in the trans community are enjoying the filter, others find that it perpetuates gender stereotypes about what it means to be a man and a woman.
Cat Graffam, an artist and trans woman told Time that she had fun playing around with the filter.
My first initial thought was, ‘Oh my gosh, this is going to make so many people realise they’re trans!’” Graffam says. “I actually had someone reach out to me… and tell me it was like a catalyst for realizing they needed to transition, because you’re able to see yourself in a way you didn’t think was possible.
Others echoed her sentiments online
And some trans people were happy that they could feel validated
On the other hand, some people think it makes a mockery of the trans struggle
And think the filter is damaging to transgender people who do not prescribe to the stereotypes attributed to gender
Some argue it is damaging for trans people who do not pass, and is "dysphoria-inducing af'
The filter is being called transphobic by some
And think it encourages damaging stereotypes about trans men and women
The filter can be confusing
Jeff Ingold, Head of Media Engagement at Stonewall said: “While it’s great people are enjoying the opportunity to explore their gender expression, we must be mindful of the damage that can be caused by stereotypical representations of ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’."
The reaction to the Snapchat’s new filter shows just how much demand there is for more understanding and better representation of people with diverse gender identities. We can all support trans people by learning more about their experiences and challenges they face, and calling out transphobia.