This post came about after reading Gin's post on the "T-Word." I started leaving a comment on her blog and it started getting a little wordy. So rather than hijack her blog, I'll turn my comment into a blog post.

For those of you who don't know, the "T-Word" is a word that is a not-so-nice "nickname" for transsexual... it's a word that mechanics use to talk about transmissions. To a transsexual, it is a pejorative, and it is offensive. It is somewhat equivalent to the N-word, although it's not quite so hateful. I've always hated this word. I don't like hearing people use it, and I certainly never liked it when trans people used it jokingly about themselves. A friend of mine had a mindspring question site called, "Ask A T****y." I didn't get that. Was never able to understand when I'd hear African-Americans use the N-word. As if it was OK for them to use it, but not others. I always found that somewhat hypocritical.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was talking with a couple friends. We were discussing how all these people were coming out of the woodwork for lunch dates with me, happy hours, etc. I jokingly and lightheartedly rolled my eyes and said, "yeah, you know, they all want to meet the t****y," and I laughed.

Whoa. Did I just say that? What's up with that? I hate that word. I thought about it some later, and what I figured out, was that I'm past the point of allowing myself to be hurt by a word that someone else uses to describe me. Call me whatever term you like... it doesn't matter. No one has the power to hurt me with a word. I do not grant you that power. If I were to be called that by someone who meant it in a degrading sense, I'd end up rolling my eyes at them... whatever. But, I get that others in our community don't feel that way. I was there. I still am there in a group sense... I don't like it when the word is used to refer to trans people as a group. Not so much because of the word itself, but because of the intention behind the word. The T-word doesn't hurt my feelings on a personal level, but I know it does others. Gin pointed out that groups such as trans people can try to take the word back and wash them clean, but such words will always have some stigma attached to them... and she's right.

So what does that make me, for using it? I guess it makes me a bit of a hypocrite. It's great that I've attained a level of self-acceptance where a mere word cannot not hurt me. However, that doesn't make it OK for me to use it. It's not acceptable or fair of me to use terms about myself that I would chastise others for using.

I'm not going to use it again. With or without asterisks.


Yes, it's all too easy to bandy it about among ourselves, isn't it. Point taken.

Aw, you can hijack my blog any old time :-)

Like you, sometimes I slip and use the term when I'm joking with my wife and then I feel like a hypocrite because I've asked her not to use it. It's the same as how I feel about certain pejoratives associated with the Jewish peoples, of which I am culturally a member. We sometimes use those words amongst ourselves, but chafe mightily if others use them. It is as if, by inclusion in the group, we have rights to the words where those outside do not. But really, if we don't want others to use them, we should start by not using them ourselves.

Sadly for me, I haven't yet reached that point where the words don't affect me. I'm hurt when they come from people I respect and I'm angry when they come from others.


Yup, it all has to do with what is in your heart, doesn't it?
The use of irony as a comedic turn is classic. A laugh at your own expense is only funny because what you are saying is not really 'true'.
The unwashed believe that 'tranny' is about theatrics.
Most of the women born male who I know want anything but theatrics in their lives.

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When I transitioned, there just weren't too many blogs out there written by straight, transitioned women. Well, here's one.

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