News and commentary for the transgender, gender-nonconforming and allied community.
Posts tagged slurs
Openly gay entertainers Lance Bass and Neil Patrick Harris recently used the word while kidding around on television, and they subsequently apologized. Openly gay Project Runway star Christian Siriano teased people as “hot tranny messes” during the show’s fourth season in 2008. In a recent interview that appeared in the Huffington Post, drag entertainer RuPaul said “no one has ever said the word ‘tranny’ in a derogatory sense” then he went on to say that he wished Bass had told his critics “F-you, you tranny jerk!”
The T-word has a long history of being tossed around in both media and casual conversation, so people are wondering why it’s suddenly a slur. The truth is that the T-word has always been depreciative. It was coined by the porn industry to fetishize trans women and boost sales.
A Google search of “tranny” brings up 169,000,000 hits, the vast majority of which come from online porn that is also tied with the equally derogatory term “she-male.” When someone says “tranny,” they’re expressing a sexual fetish that degrades women who happen to be trans. So it’s not “suddenly” a slur. The difference today is that trans people are finally feeling empowered enough to stand up and demand that they be treated with dignity.
When gay celebrities use language that publicly ridicules trans people, it sends a clear message to our lesbian, gay and bisexual youth that, despite anti-bullying efforts to protect them, it’s still OK to bully those who identify as trans or who are otherwise gender variant. So it never gets better for trans youth while they are being bullied not only by their straight peers, but also by their LGB peers who simply mimick their adult role models. Jake Finney, “The T-Word Hasn’t Changed, We Have”