Tranny, Tranny, Tranny… or how to be a dick for the hell of it

“Fuck you Tammy, if that is your REAL name. I’ll say what I want. If I want to use the word ‘Tranny’ I will and you can’t stop me… TRANNY TRANNY TRANNY.” – collected sentiment of many people who we sadly encounter.

Well you sure showed me. I mean, YOU don’t find it offensive, so no one is allowed to. Now go up to those rather beefy looking black guys and tell them what words they aren’t allowed to find offensive. No? Try those south Asian looking fellows instead. Too scared? Oh, you’re just not racist, because attacking people for being different just isn’t cool. I see.

I am sorry to point out that the word ‘Tranny’ is offensive to a lot of the Trans community. It is a slur that is almost always thrown our way in derision, and is popularly attributed to the portrayal of transwomen as vapid, grotesque, sexual objects and prostitutes in pornography. Words like Tranny, He-She, Shemale and Ladyboy may, like all words, be harmless in of themselves, but the manner in which they are deployed only ever serve to dehumanise, sexualise, objectify and belittle.

Don’t give a shit about Trans people? Don’t give a flying butt-nugget that 42% of Trans people are bullied to the point of attempting suicide? Don’t see why people should stand up for Trans rights, or even afford Trans people the same basic respect due to every human being? Then you are just a colossal dick, and the only way you can make the world better is by relinquishing your entitlement to oxygen.

Want to do something to stop other people making the lives of Trans people shitter than they need to be? Well you can start by abandoning the aforementioned expressions, and if you could go so far as to challenge others who use them, then that would make you pretty damn awesome.

But you have a friend who crossdresses and calls themselves a ‘Tranny’? That’s up to them. You know a transsexual who doesn’t mind being called that, okay, fine. They don’t speak for the majority. I have known one or two black people who are okay with the N-word. Do you think for one second that means that they all are?

One of the big problems is when other LGB people or those who profess to be LGBT allies deploy the word, it seemingly gives licence to everyone else. When RuPaul Charles defended his repeated use of the word on his Reality TV show ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ and dismissed any genuine Transwoman’s claim that it was offensive, he spoke with no authority on the matter whatsoever.

Because RuPaul Charles is NOT Trans.

He is not Transgender. He certainly isn’t Transsexual.

RuPaul Charles is a gay man that puts on dresses and plays an exaggerated caricature of femininity purely for entertainment purposes. RuPaul putting on a frock and claiming to speak for the Trans community is no different to me putting on black-face and claiming the right to deploy the N-word with impunity.

He is not alone. Plastic monstrosity Joan Rivers, one-trick pony Alan Carr, and screeching stereotype Graham Norton are all guilty of dropping the T-bomb for a quick, cheap laugh. Loveable, cheeky twelve-year old Russell Howard, a comedian so derisive of the racist, sexist and homophobic content of older comics’ material, thinks nothing of dropping in some quite scathing gags and sketches about trans people. Sean Locke… well, when it comes to using Trans people for comic effect, he is just an enormous bellend!

Of course, ignorance is understandable to a degree. Those words are bandied about so casually when referring to anyone not presenting as their birth-assigned gender, that people think it is okay. So here is notice. It actually isn’t. In the past, the N-word was considered perfectly acceptable by the masses, as was the F-word for Homosexuals, with little consideration of the power of those words to strip someone of their humanity in the eyes of society at large. So please, do not use the T-word to describe people on the T spectrum. All you are doing is participating in a culture that reduces the worth of certain human beings to punchlines at best, and targets for abuse and violence at worst.

There, now that you have been asked politely, to consciously use an expression, despite being aware of the upset, hurt and damage it causes, would just be dickish. I believe we can all be above that sort of thing, don’t you?

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2 Comments

Filed under hate speech, LGBT, Transgender, Transsexual

2 responses to “Tranny, Tranny, Tranny… or how to be a dick for the hell of it

  1. I completely agree with you, Tammy – people use that T word because they are plain ignorant! It’s insulting, it betrays a complete misunderstanding of what being a transsexual is about…. because, as far as I can gather, most TSs like me don’t want to be labelled, they want to be seen as any other woman.

  2. Charlie

    What about us in the community who don’t see “tranny” as a bad word, but as a term of endearment, or are trying to reclaim it (like “dyke” and “queer”, it’s the history of the word “gay”)?

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