Monday, May 7, 2012

Words Can Never Hurt Me

It is acceptable for a tranny to use the word "tranny" in reference to another tranny, but it is not acceptable for a civilian to use the word "tranny." Isn't that a little hypocritical? (Actually, I think it is very hypocrital.)

Gender theorist Kate Bornstein had this to say about the word “tranny.”

"That’s the most politically problematic self-definition. I get hit for using it. A vocal contingent of trans people insist that the word 'tranny' is a slur on the order of the 'N' word applied to black Americans. It gets used as a hate term. People will yell 'f**kin’ tranny' and throw a beer can at you from a passing car. My people get spat on, and accompanying that spit is the word 'tranny.' But I own that word. I’m trying to give it a good name."

Does it make it any better if people yell "f**kin’ transgender" and throw a beer can at you from a passing car?

It is not the word, but how it is used that is important.

And speaking of the word "transgender," the whole debate about using "transgender" vs. "transgendered" seems to be much ado about not much. I use the two words interchangeably when I speak, although I have been careful about not using "transgendered" when writing this blog because I don't want to give the Trans-Nazis and Trans-Harpies more ammo to shoot in my direction.

I think I will be less careful in the future,

So, you can call me "tranny," you can call me "transgendered," you can call me "anything you want," but just don't call me late for the shoe sale.


  1. Stana, I agree with your transgendered reference and dearly love your "trans-nazi" term!
    As far as "Tranny" goes I consider it a compliment to our culture of sorts because we have finally been recognized enough to warrant our own "slur"

  2. A lot of the trouble with labels is that one size does not fit all they are also a little hierarchical, "I'm transgendered, you're a cross dresser, they are a transvestite" I prefer the term for cross dresser for me , because it does describe what I do and what I am without any of the possible sexual activity overtones attached to Transvestite. I also have a bit of a problem as it sounds like one of the tribes the Israelites expelled from Palestine, like the Hittites, the Gibeonites and the Amorites

  3. Yeah, I don't get it. I'm quite closeted, so I'm in no danger of of anyone discriminating against me personally, violently or otherwise, BUT until all this hoopla about slurs and epithets started I thought the term "tranny" was kinda cute. Was I wrong in thinking that it kinda shaved the stigmatic edge off of "transvestite?"

  4. AnonymousMay 08, 2012

    I am a transexual and I can't find anything wrong with the abreviation of the word to tranny.

    Love your site and visit it most days.


  5. AnonymousMay 08, 2012

    I have to agree with Kate! I own the word, can use it if I like. I used transgendered a lot before I used transgender (still reminds me and as hard to say as "I'll text you!") It is my belief that a transgender(ed)person by any other name, used in that context of endearment) still smells as sweet!

  6. I am not offended by the term 'Tranny'. I suppose that many of us are 'trans-something' and if we go with the catch-all phrases of 'transgender' or 'transgendered' the term 'tranny', at least to me, is mere shorthand.

    I, for one, refuse to take offense. If you are offended or let those who do not understand us use terms to offend you then you surrender a tool for no good reason. Most of us are good people that others merely need to get to know better to understand that we are not out there to cause them harm or discomfort.

    My preference is to be described by what I do. Right now I am reading blogs and typing. I suppose that makes me a reader and a typer. When I dress I am a person who dresses. Sometimes I wear slacks and a jacket. At other times it is a dress or skirt and heels. Hopefully, I look good. In any event I am a person who has put on certain items of clothing. While so attired I can also be a blog reader or typer or lots of other things.


  7. AnonymousMay 08, 2012

    I started to use the term "Crossgender" lately. Why not? After all, I'm still a man but I like to "cross" bounderies into the other "gender". So, crossgender seems fitting.


  8. Dear Stana,

    I agree with you completely. My perception is that "tranny" CAN (not MUST) have a negative connotation at times mainly in the United States, but is not necessarily a slur in every case. I believe it is not considered as negative in many other countries, like England and the rest of Europe. My Orlando area T-Girl social and support group was recently joined by a crossdresser from Finland. She uses "tranny" instead of crossdresser. She uses it quite innocently and obviously without malice. Some people in the USA even consider "transvestite" as a slur. But, this was the commonly used term until the 1960's/70's or so. "Transvestite" literally means "crossdresser".

    The awful and hateful "N-word" is another story -- it is never used in a postive or neutral way. When a non-Black person uses it, it is always hateful (except in a discussion like this as an educational analysis). When a black person uses it when referring to another black person, I think it's usually used as at least a slight put-down.

    So, "tranny" is not necessarily a slur. It certainly can be, but it can also be a neutral term when used with no ill intent. Context and intent is everything regarding the use of "tranny".



  9. AnonymousMay 08, 2012

    I love the word "transvestite", that is how I think of myself. I think it implies something exotic. "I am a transvestite", just sounds right.
    Mia Johnson

  10. AnonymousMay 10, 2012

    I can't decide which label to use.

  11. I think of myself as a Transvestite and I'm gay, I prefer being with men over women. Tranny is a term or word I hear plenty but it means little to me unless it's accompanied with a flying beer bottle!