A Very Personal World: Advertisement and Identity of Trans-persons on Craigslist
Personal ads have been significantly transformed since their development online. Americans are increasingly engaging with the new opportunities and resources that the web can offer for their personal lives. Despite the growing number of people posting and responding to online personal ads, this continues to be regarded as a deviant form of intimacy or courtship initiation (Rajecki et al. 1991). Using the internet to locate romantic or intimate partners is considered by many to be a last resort-an option turned to only by the most desperate and undesirable. However, with ever-expanding access to the internet, either privately or in public venues, accompanied by demographic and cultural shifts, this stigma has begun to dissipate (Baker 2002, 2005). Regardless of the cultural ethos affiliated with online personal ads and meeting via the internet, this phenomenon is certain to continue to grow in acceptance.The increasing legitimacy is likely attributed to the larger numbers of people engaging in online personal ads, the mainstreaming of online “dating” sites (such as “eHarmony.com”), and number of people who have entered long-term relationships and marriages initiated via the web.While used by many, the internet offers particular opportunities for marginalized and disenfranchised populations (Koch and Schockman 1998), such as among the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, to meet and make connections.