Tobi Hill-Meyer answers to a "T" What's up with "Tranny"

I highly recommend Tobi Hill-Meyer's three part series on Bilerico Project. She sets the standard defining transsexuals views on the "T" word!

Part one examines Let's Talk about "Tranny" - Meanings

"To begin with, it's important to recognize that "tranny," like most slurs, is used to say more about someone than simply whether they are trans or not. Just as how "this homework is so gay" is less about identifying sexual attraction to other homework of its own gender and more about being generically bad. Similarly, being called a faggot or a dyke is often about being too feminine, a sissy, a manhater, or just being unwilling to accept sexual harassment. So what's the implication of being called a tranny?
So what does the media's role in presenting transgender as a simplified one dimensional plaything have to do with anything? Answered in part two "Let's Talk About "Tranny" Media Criticisms"

"If you are using the term over other people's objections, then be prepared for the consequences. People may think you are ignorant or insensitive to the oppression of trans women. They may more closely examine your behavior for transphobia and/or misogyny. They may find it. They might not want to be exposed to your irresponsible use of term (or other transphobia and/or misogyny) and decide to avoid your events, your writing, or your film. They might tell their friends. So if you want to cultivate an audience that includes trans women and those who care about them, or even just a reputation as trans friendly, keep that in mind.
(Tammye Nash, John Wright and the whole Dallas Voice crew should pay particular attention to this paragraph.)

Part three talks about the effects of using "tranny" has on transgender people. It explores the rational cisgender people us in defending there cavalier use of the word.

"Similarly, I've heard people suggest that because of the overlap in the trans feminine spectrum between trans women, drag queens, and sissy faggots, that gay men should therefore be free to toss the slur around without being criticized. I can understand the point if you're a gay man who walks the streets in drag, facing harassment, being called a tranny, and getting profiled by police for walking while trans. However, that doesn't give all normatively gendered gay men carte blanche to rebuke any criticism for using the term just because they went to a few drag shows. That doesn't give all gay men carte blanche. It certainly is no excuse for OUT magazine the justification to claim that the term is powerful and liberating just because they (predominantly cis men) are the ones saying it."
It is my belief that that Tobi's three part dissertation correctly articulates the current transgender sensitivities regarding the word "tranny". These three articles should be used as a guide post for cisgender media regardless if it is a gay or hetreosexual publication.

Mercedes has a wonderfully insightful commentary on Tobi's article over at Dented Blue Mercedes

No comments: