Tranny 

Once again I want to talk about my fascination with words and how they change perceptions and society. This time, it’s only one word, though.
Tranny. That’s one of those words that causes a lot of controversy. One of those words that only the people it describes can use safely, and even then, not necessarily without being called out on it. But why is it such a bad word? It’s just short for transsexual, right? Wrong! 
Tranny is one of those words that comes with a history of hate. A word that accompanies disgust and hate crimes. It’s a word used by the porn industry because nobody searches “transgender porn.” So why is it a word some peope are trying to reclaim? Well, it’s a way to mark how far we’ve come, and to claim the past. To remember the fights of those who came before. To take back a powerful word and use it for good rather than hate. But people still use the word for hate, so some people still don’t like it, no matter who is saying it, or the context. 
But others, like myself, do use the word. I mainly use it to described myself, because I don’t want to put that label on someone else, and I never use it in a formal context or to people I’m not comfortable with. Like any word, there’s a time and a place. But just because I use it in a casual way doesn’t mean it isn’t a dangerous word. Sometimes when I’m having a bad day, and tired of feeling like a misfit, I’ll refer to myself a tranny. I’ll use their negative use of the word against myself. And that’s not okay, either. But that’s why we need it back. Because it shouldn’t be a bad thing to be a tranny. We need to make that negative meaning positive. 
We do. Not you.
But my best friend is trans and… no. 
But I’m gay, so… No.
But I do drag shows on the weekend and…NO.
But I don’t mean it a bad way, I’m helping you take it ba- N. O. 
If you are not a trans woman, you are not allowed to use this word without consequences. Trans women are the primary target of the word, and it’s ours to take back or hate as we please. If you’re in my workplace and I hear you say that, HR is getting a call. If you’re my friend and you say tranny, we’re going to have a talk. If it happens again, we’re not talking anymore. If you’re in my car and you say it, I hope you’re wearing comfortable shoes. If you’re Ru Paul and you think it’s okay to use that word on your show, you’re trash. You can’t reclaim a hateful word that doesn’t belong to you. 
So I’m going to keep fighting like a tranny girl, and taking my word back.
-Natalie  

update:  today marks 1 year on hormones, and almost a year full time.  Yay! 

2 thoughts on “Tranny 

  1. I agree with what your saying, but for the same reason some people dislike certain words I personally tend to like them due to the reaction they can have. It’s like the word cunt, a lot of people I know dislike the word and dislike it being used. In my opinion that is why it’s such a great word, because of the reaction it can have. It’s almost visceral, and hits like a punch. If I wanted to insult someone in a jokey light-hearted way (say to a friend) I could call them a vagina; (and to me at least this is a more humorous insult). Where in the same instance if I really want to insult them and make them a little angry or hurt, I’d call them a cunt.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that words have a point good or bad, should we try and change their meaning? It’s like in America where the definition of the word literally was changed to include the definition of figuratively. So American literally don’t have a word for literally. I understand that language changes and evolves over time; and that’s part of it’s beauty. But if we change and reclaim all the offensive words aren’t we taking something away from the English language? These words might not be pretty, but they do serve a purpose, they are supposed to offend and sometimes that can be useful.

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    • Thanks for comment. I, for one, don’t reduce people to body parts as an insult if I can help it. I also don’t think it’s productive to try to hurt people on purpose. Maybe that’s the bigger issue behind the word – the intent. Fix the hate, heal the word. Just my opinion.

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