DISCLAIMER; I am not angry at Meandering Muse. She's a cool badass chickie and I consider her a friend on the internet. I'm posting this blog entry to answer her confusion in her most recent blog, here, as to why some of her trans readers got upset that she chose to use the word "tranny" instead of "transgendered" in what she believed was a cute funny way. Now I know some of my sisters, (you know who you are), would immediately write off Muse as just another privileged cis bitch who doesn't understand us and blah blah hate hate etc etc, but I know Muse is a cool intelligent woman who honestly meant well. Not understanding why a word hurts is NOT the same as intentionally seeking to hurt you with it. I love my grumpy T-sisters on Twitter but not every cis woman who makes a verbal fuck-up is out to bury us. So after reading Muse's latest blog, read as follows my polite and calm explanation to her as to why someone got pissed off at her over the word "tranny".
To my friend Meandering Muse
Since you aren't a transwoman hon you don't have the first person experience to understand this, but, the problem with "tranny" is that it's Nigger. Kike. Gook. Fag. It's a hate word, a weapon word. It cannot be reclaimed or disarmed, and you cannot use it as a joke or a cutesy shortcut because "transgendered" sounds too "clinical and scientific and boring."
If you, as a cis woman use it, no matter how light-hearted your intent sweetie, you're GOING to piss transfolk off.
Secondly, "transgender" does in fact cover those who never transition or have surgery, because it's a blanket term invented by Crossdressers to co-opt the gender issues of various transsexuals and intersex folks, in order to pass off their silly harmless sexual fetish as something they cannot control the same way a transsexual can't change the gender gap between their body and brain without medical assistance.
While I know enough to know that you as a cis lesbian woman probably did genuinely believe you were being cute and can't understand why anyone would be upset, because of your own privilege, (and yes, even lesbians have privilege over transwomen), I sadly know several embittered transwomen (whom I love anyway) who've gotten the shaft from life more than I have in regards to dealing with the privileged assumptions of cis women, some openly haters, some who just don't fully understand their own language mistakes.
You cannot use "tranny" to crack a joke or be cute. You're not trans. You haven't earned the right. You may as well be a white man cracking nigger jokes. Would you think he was really just trying to be cute? And even if in his ignorance of how it really feels to a POC to be called nigger he honestly did think he was only being cute and funny, would that excuse his misinformed use of the word?
No one can ever safely use a weaponized hate word a funny cuteness. Someone will always take offense to it. There IS no safe way to use a hate word cutely. I hope you can understand why the other person or persons got so upset with you now that I've explained it to you calmly without yelling.
I greatly appreciate your supportiveness to trans/is issues, but that supportiveness is not an excuse to use a word that hurts us as joking cuteness. There is no free pass for hatespeech, not even that which was genuinely intended to just be funny.
It's the little things sweetie. The little things like this are a big part of what stops people from changing.
After all, doesn't it horrify you every time some idiot college jock cracks a "joke" about rape like it's really no big deal?
A non-trans saying the word tranny as a cute joke is a very big deal to transfolk. And no matter how good the intention, no good can come of doing it.
PERSONAL ASIDE; As I was typing this, I find it very disturbing that the spellchecker happily identified tranny as a possibly misspelled word, (which is good), but it never once flagged nigger or any of the other racist words I cited as examples of how hateful a word Tranny is. So.... does this mean "Nigger" is actually in the goddamn dictionary??? WTF???