Transwomen, how do you feel about transmen and other transmasculine folks using the t-word?

  • Get FREE 5 Gifts with Orders $59+

Transwomen, how do you feel about transmen and other transmasculine folks using the t-word?

oliverHyde oliverHyde
Ashen Bauer just wrote a really amazing article on transmen (and others) using the word "tranny".

link

I've sparingly used the word "tranny" to describe myself (only feel 1/2 trans as a genderqueer transmasculine boi) but now I'm starting to really question it.

transmen seem to get off easy socially, compared to transwomen. (for example, we're far less likely to be murdered, raped, etc.) our transgression is more socially acceptable than yours, so it seems kind of privilegey for us to reclaim the word while you have so much hate to face.

Transwomen, how do you feel about transmen and other transmasculine folks using the t-word?
08/07/2010
  • Buy 3 Items for $70
  • Buy 3 Items for $50
  • Buy 3 Items for $30
  • Save 20% on Luxury Toys
  • Add Some Buzz To Your Favourite Toy & Save 60% On Kit
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
All promotions
grrltalk grrltalk
Quote:
Originally posted by oliverHyde
Ashen Bauer just wrote a really amazing article on transmen (and others) using the word "tranny".

link

I've sparingly used the word "tranny" to describe myself (only feel 1/2 trans as a genderqueer transmasculine ...
Personally, it seriously irks me. Sometimes it offends me greatly, depending on the mood I'm in. It is always offputting and offensive in some way.

I think it's a problem with language reclamation and our community. The way that I see the world, trans people of all ilks (trans women, trans men, kings, queens, gender fucked folks, genderqueer folks etc.) all are part of the same community. We all have "deviant" gender experiences and we all are oppressed by society in similar ways.

That does not mean, however that the same language is used to marginalize us, or that the particulars of our cohort experiences are not different. For instance, trans man resources aren't helpful to me, because I'm a trans woman. Sure, there is a lot of overlap (changing documents and stuff) but transition resources and navigating privilege and how oppression manifests itself is very different for different cohorts of trans identities. It's not to say that anyone has it "worse" or "better", just that we all have different experiences around our trans identities because our identities are treated differently by society.

The word "tranny" (Kate Bornstein insists that its etymology comes from something positive in a trans woman and drag queen community in Australia in the '50s so we should all be all about using it) has become, regardless of where it came from, a word to hurt trans women. Occasionally, it is used in other cases, but do a google search. Look at the results. Look it up in "Urban Dictionary". You get a few things about automobile transmissions, and a whole bunch of really transphobic, transmisogynistic hate speech about trans women.

In our culture today, "tranny" is a word used to make jokes at the expense of trans women, and to illicit homophobic responses in cis, hetero, men when they check out a woman, stigmatize trans women, etc. It is targeted. It has a frightening amount of violence attached to it for being a word used for trans women for such a short amount of time, and it almost always targets trans women when used as a hate word.

That all said, I find that when trans men use the word "tranny" to describe themselves, or lightly, or as a catch-all community word, I get offended. I try not to get offended at language, but it's a word that targets trans women. It's not some cutesy fun word that is short for "transgender" or something. It's not just making "trans" feel more like a standalone word or more fun. It is a word that many trans women are deeply offended by and that has trauma, violence, murder, pain, and a lot of other oppression attached to it, and every time trans guys around me toss it around I feel a little less safe in that space, and a lot more excluded. Please, just, don't use it; I try not to, save very particular circumstances and with very particular people.
11/03/2010
mrs poop. mrs poop.
really interesting article.
especially appreciate the points about reclaiming the word.
02/17/2012
Chris Corrigan Chris Corrigan
I'm always going to use the word. We have got to stop playing the word police with each other.
02/17/2012
Aries Aries
The article was interesting, thanks for posting it.

I don't know how much authority I have on this subject since I'm a trans-man and not a trans-female but...

One point that confused me in the article is the lumping in of Drag Queens with trans-women, in the history of the word being used against them. He did say later that cis people don't get to use the word, no matter how queer.

Of course this gets to complicated debates over who is "trans" and who is "cis" but surely if you identify as cis you can't identify with being that word. And so even if you are a Drag Queen you can still be cis. At least in my understanding.

But I would think it's more of an insult when cis-identified Drag Queens use the word...

However I understand a lot of trans-women have a problem with trans-men using the word. I don't quite "get it" still but I'm trying to respect it.
03/02/2012
scaredlittleboy scaredlittleboy
Out of respect to trans women, I don't use the word, even though some trans women have told me that it's fine for trans guys to use it.
03/02/2012
butts butts
I jokingly use it when referring to myself often, but never when referring to other people. I never know when someone will take it offensively.

*I'm FtM not MtF
03/02/2012
queerasfuck queerasfuck
I feel like tranny is a word that is based in trans misogyny, so it's not really a word that can be reclaimed by masculine of center folks as much.
03/03/2012
Lock Lock
I don't like anyone using the word, period, although I'm more forgiving if it is a trans person. But to me that's regardless of whether trans-men or trans-women are using it. There's really no need to make a divide between who is more oppressed by the language when both parties are in fact affected negatively.

Either reclaim it, or don't tolerate it, but don't try to dictate who is "trans enough" to use it.
03/03/2012
Total posts: 9
Unique posters: 9