On the use of the words "Tranny," "Queer," "Nigger" etc:

When they want to stop you talking about the facts 
they will get you to argue about words.

For a right girl fight on this issue check out the
babelicious, Kelli's blog, PLANET TRANSGENDER.



  1. MP, I don’t understand (and I’m not being deliberately obtuse). I’m not sure what your point is to see if I agree or disagree. I can’t even blame pain meds from my surgery last week since I haven’t had any today. Is the issue that we’re not supposed to say “tranny” or that we’re not allowed to dress in drag on festive occasions? Or is it that you think that they are being too sensitive? Help?

  2. But the argument over at Planet Transgender goes further than your statement, Ann. And I don’t agree with the first part of your statement anyway.

  3. I don’t personally approve the word “tranny.”

    But I don’t approve of self-appointed dividers of the wider Trans community, either.

    Drag queens (and kings) have always been welcome as part of the Trans community, IF they wish to be: Kelli Anne Busey is wrong, IMO, to define them OUT.

    I believe the word “cisgender” can itself be a term of oppression, if it boils down to the (TIRED) divisions of “Have you had ‘The Surgery’ or not?” (this is especially true of MTFs)

    IF you ID as Trans, AND wish to call yourself “tranny”, it’s tacky—but it’s also your own business.

    When they want to stop you talking about the facts
    they will get you to argue about words.

    I agree wholeheartedly! When our killers come for us, believe me, THEY won’t care if you say “I’m not a tranny, I’m a drag queen!” (OR vice-versa)

    Ergo, we shouldn’t care so much, either.

    Our rights to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” WHILE differently-gendered, PERIOD.

  4. Yet, defining one’s terms is just laying the groundwork for the rest of the battle, much of which takes place in the mind.

    It’s all about controlling how one thinks about things.

    Take “marriage” for example. Huge tussle over whether or not it’s something that gay people can even do, because some define “marriage” as “union between one man and one woman” and that’s the definition they want enshrined in law.

    But (semi-rhetorical question here) is there a difference between “marriage” and “matrimony”? I think there is. Long story as to why I think this.

    I say it’s ALL “marriage” – whether it’s religious or secular, whether it’s gay people or straight. So just call it that.

    And that’s just one tiny example, of course.

    But yes, defining terms and getting people to come to YOUR side of the line and agree that word X means this or that – yeah, that’s hugely important.

  5. I find “LGBT” to be quite a mouthful. One of my lesbian friends makes fun of it by saying we’ve become a BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich.

  6. You can’t (at this time, anyway) change your sex chromosomes, MP.

    Bigots like to cite this fact, to deny Trans people the right to change their assigned sex on their ID papers.

    [I know you are not among such bigots, MP, but you DID just adopt their talking-point.]

    Emphatically, “sex” (and/or “gender”) cannot and SHOULD NOT be reduced to chromosomes (the part that can only be made visible through genetic testing). 99.99999% of what people mean by “sex” (i.e., gender, not intercourse) is expressed in ways that may be (and often are) completely independent of one’s sex chromosomes.

    And that part (the 99.99999%) CAN be changed! Thank God!

  7. No, JCF, it is you who are backing up the bigots by insisting that ones sex is a physical thing. My point is that gender identity is mental. Therefore it cannot be changed.

  8. Wouldn’t it be better to call people what they prefer to be called, no matter what terms of self-reference they use amongst themselves?

    I posted a joke with the word “transvestite” in it, and JCF pointed out that cross-dresser is the preferred term, which I knew, but I thought the joke would pass muster, because it was a joke. It did not, and I would not post a joke using the word again, simply so as not to give offense.

  9. Mimi, you have to read the argument going on over at Planet Transgender. Kelli, an American, attacked an English organisation that allowed a song that mentioned the word “tranny” to be sung at one of their conferences. In America, “tranny” is a non-PC word. In England, some people find it offensive, but most transvestites and drag artists own the word in the same way some gay people own the word “queer” and some black people own the word “nigga.” So, your comment is exactly what I have been saying over at PG. At the moment Kelli’s readers are being really bitchy at each other over semantics, in stead of ganging up against the oppressor. This benefits the bigots – hence my thought for the day.

  10. …but most transvestites and drag artists own the word in the same way….

    But I don’t own any of those words, because I’m not part of the groups. Are you?

    I read the arguments at your link, Jonathan. It’s their argument, not mine. I’ll let the transgender people work it out. And if a person objects to a certain label, I won’t call that person by the label. That seems rather simple to me.

  11. I’ve already checked Google and unless you are accusing me of being the Gloucestershire County Association for the Blind, I’m at a complete loss on this one.

  12. Just so the many readers of this thread won’t remain in mystery, GCAB stands for “grumpy, cynical, aggressive bastard”. I did not say that. MadPriest said the words about himself, and I have his permission to repeat them here. I would never say that about him, for we all know he’s a dear, sweet man who has nothing but a kind word for everyone.

  13. If I’m remembering this correctly from my psychology grad school days, “sex” = “the sum of the structural and functional differences by which the male and female are distinguished” (i.e. the biological / physiological stuff). “gender” = “the socially constructed roles, behavior, activities and attributes that a particular society considers appropriate for men and women.” (i.e. the psychological / sociological stuff).

    Core gender identity is a person’s own sense of identification and place along the male-female spectrum. It is broader than the sex of the individual as determined by examination of the external genitalia.

    There, I knew those old textbooks would come in handy someday…