Monday, 28 November 2011

That word.

The Channel 4 series My Transsexual Summer - which sadly reaches its final episode this week - brought a particular word to the fore and sparked a lot of discussion and, frankly, argument on twitter and elsewhere about its use. Some argue - as in the show - to be "reclaiming" the word, much as "queer" has been.

Others, including myself, cannot forget the usage by people wanting to attack us verbally, and who were often members of minorities themselves.

That word is "Tranny".

I'm now a forty-something and sadly recall when 'tranny' was the term used for transvestites. To call someone who defined and declared themselves as transsexual was to intentionally seek to hurt them, the implication being that TVs were obviously people trying to display a fake persona as a member of the opposite gender, rather than a TS who was trying to just 'blend in' with their cis sisters or brothers.

So, for me, if I were to now get called a 'tranny' I would feel extraordinarily hurt just as much as back then, and I cannot help but feel that same hurt on behalf of other folks, and the attempt to reclaim the term, even if only used with the TS circle, feels self-derogatory and completely wrong.

"Your mileage may vary" is one of those internet phrases that we each take our own view on ideas and language, but I still can't help feeling that this is one attempt of language reclaiming that I really want to see die as quickly as possible.

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