Reclaiming Tranny

by: Lindsey Dietzler

Four years ago, when I first started talking about the need for the LGBTQQIAA community to reclaim the word “queer” and drop the alphabet soup, it was a widely unpopular idea. I was constantly getting into arguments about why it was important to have a word that identified our entire community without creating as many divisions as the alphabet soup did.

What I found from those discussions was that more often than not whether you were opposed to queer or in favor it was primarily generational. Most folks who had experienced the term personally as a pejorative were not in favor of it and most folks who had not, found it far more welcoming and fluid than the alphabet soup.


I have a long history of being picked on and bullied starting from the age of 11 years old. I have been called every “pejorative” name in the book you could imagine: dyke, lezbo, fag, hermaphrodite, trailer trash, freak, queer, he-she, tranny, cross-dresser, the list goes on. I was forced to develop a pretty thick skin and not let what the other kids said get to me in order to keep my sanity.

But those experiences also made me a huge proponent for taking the nasty meaning out of those words that were meant to hurt me and owning them. They became a badge of honor. Now, I am the proud owner of identities such as: queermo, nancy boy and tranny fag.

There is, however, a lot of contention within the trans community about the use of the word tranny and rightfully so. When trying to research the etymology of the word “tranny,” there is not a whole lot recorded, so most of it’s history lies with the community. The Wiki page lists it as colloquial, pejorative and short for a transgender person. Urban Dictionary defines tranny as a transvestite or transsexual among other things — with two entries toward the bottom specifically identifying the term to “men who want to be/dress as women.”

The common narrative from many transwomen is that tranny has long been used to degrade transwomen and finds its roots in the heteronormative porn industry, where it is often synonymous with terms like “she-male.”

In the past few years however, many transmen and other gender variant folks — including some transwomen with less negative experiences of the word — have begun to reclaim tranny, offering a new, positive and endearing definition of the word for the community.

Many transwomen who have a negative history with “tranny” do not feel it is the place of transmen or other gender variant folks to reclaim it, since the history resides mostly with transwomen. Is it the place of transmen and other gender variant folks to reclaim the word for the community? If not, can transmen and other gender variant folks still reclaim tranny to self-identitfy? Does the current reclamation of the word do more harm to transwomen who have been affected by it, or does it broaden the history and meaning of the word, allowing transwomen who have been hurt by it to heal from it?

It is certainly legitimate that transwomen would feel like tranny has been used specifically to degrade any variation of male to female gender expression or identity, the history speaks for itself. But I would wager that the reason this term has been used more to degrade transwomen as opposed to transmen is largely because of transmasculine invisibility.

The idea of men portraying or dressing as women has existed in Western culture since the days of Shakespeare. But it wasn’t until Morocco in 1930 when Marlene Dietrich dressed in a tux that the idea of women portraying or dressing as men was introduced at large to Western culture. Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, first published in 1928, is considered the first transgender novel ever published by the community, but overwhelmingly, it is often referred to as a lesbian novel by those outside the trans community. Even Leslie Fienberg’s novel, Stone Butch Blues, is often interpreted as a lesbian novel, when it speaks largely to the invisibility of transmasculine identity.

I have been heavily immersed in Chicago’s Boystown and Andersonville neighborhoods for nearly 7 years. I am much less so now — because I often feel invisible when I move throughout those spaces. Despite wearing a suit and tie, being on T for the past six months or using the men’s restroom, I am almost always identified as a lesbian (which is problematic because it not only assumes my gender, but who they presume I like to — or do not like to — have sex with).  Even when I have corrected folks to use the proper pronouns, they struggle to see me as male and respect my preferred pronoun. On the other side of that coin, I have seen folks properly pronoun drag queens time and time again.

Dictating who can and cannot reclaim a certain word within a community only creates fissures in that community. I don’t want to be part of just a transmasculine community.  I want to be a part of that, too; don’t get me wrong.  But more than that, I want to be part of a transgender community with all of its beauty, diversity and eccentricity (race, class, gender, size, age, ability, sexual orientation, creed, etc).

When I reclaim the word tranny as my self-identity, I am owning the history and weight of that word — because I see myself as part of a larger transgender community, that celebrates all gender identities and expressions.  In spite of the invisible history of transmen, I want to own all of my transgender history, good and bad — Compton’s Cafeteria Riots, Stonewall and, yes, the word tranny.

Words evolve over time. Gay has been used to define: happy, a male prostitute, a nongendered homosexual, a male homosexual and, most recently, stupid. Queer has been used to define: eccentric, strange, ill, a homosexual and, most recently, the LGBTQ community as a whole. Tranny has been used to define: a transvestite, a transsexual, a transwoman in porn and, most recently, someone who identifies as transgender.

Ignoring words that are used to offend us only allows them to continue to hurt us. Reappropriating tranny takes the power out of its negative connotation, and this act alone will empower the trans community. When we reclaim the words that have been used to subjugate us, we no longer allow ourselves to be victimized by them. By reassuming control over tranny, we reclaim it for our community and take it out of the hands of those who wish to oppress and objectify us. By taking it out of their hands, we can redefine it as sex and gender positive. By redefining it as sex and gender positive, we lift the burden of shame off of our community.

Lindsey Dietzler is a trans/queer rights activist and community organizer. He is a co-founder of Video Action League and founder of CAMP: A Queer Sports League. Dietzler received his Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies from Columbia College Chicago. He is currently working on organizing a new queer/philanthropic dance night in Logan Square. Dietzler enjoys dancing, riding his bike and snuggling.

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31 responses to “Reclaiming Tranny

  1. “But I would wager that the reason this term has been used more to degrade transwomen as opposed to transmen is largely because of transmasculine invisibility.”

    I think you would lose that wager. It’s because trans women are intrinsically viewed differently by society than trans men are. Our very identities are sexualized and projected with a fetish in a way trans men aren’t. We’re laughed at as jokes in a way trans men aren’t. We made “third gender” in a way trans men don’t get on a day to day level. (nothing wrong with third gender if that’s how you feel, but most of us don’t think of ourselfves that way) Moreover, Google the term “tranny.” at the ensuing pages which appear and you’ll see that it’s overwhelmingly used in sex links. I have nothing against trans women who do sex work, but we’re not all doing sex work and most of those links are put there by men who are paying third world impoverished trans girls peanuts to show their bodies and fuck for the camera.

    Do you think it’s okay to call a 10-year old trans girl a “tranny?” Is it okay to call someone who’s transitioning at work a “tranny?” Is it okay to call any cis woman who you don’t like a “tranny” (one of the most common uses for the term and total misogyny… not to mention degrading trans women as ugly and inhuman.” If I need to go to an ER, is it okay if someone refers to me as a “tranny?”

    I have no issue with a trans woman or drag queen using tranny among their friends. I have a big problem when trans women are globally referred to as trannies including trans women who have been traumatized by the word. You haven’t been injured with the term the way many trans women have… you don’t get the right to reclaim it.

  2. Rock on. I am pro-reclaiming whatever word makes you feel good. I don’t think other people should tell you what YOU get to call yourself. I am fine with other people thinking that fatty, slut, girlfag, and various other things I like to call myself on occasion are not ok, but guess what- it’s not ok for THEM. They can choose not to use those words, not to refer to themself or others that way. That doesn’t invalidate my identity, or give them the power to control my deeply personal and contextual relationship with words.

    This is never a fight you can hope to win on the internet, but I guess what matters is having your voice out there.

    • You can’t reclaim a word that’s used against another group. It would be like a latino reclaiming the n-word. This word is used against trans women, not trans men.

      • Have you not been around youth/young adults of color? Thanks in large part to hip hop and rap music transcending racial lines, the n-word is used all the time within those communities and not pejoratively.

        There is nuance to word usage, and I appreciate how Lindsey is bringing that nuance to light.

  3. Hansen,

    I guarantee you there are MANY young black people in the hip hop community who are not okay with a non-black ‘homeboy’ going up to them saying ‘nigger.’ Guarantee that. I’ve heard that discussion in the black community and it was very intense. In some situations it might be tolerated but in most it would be seen as appropriation of a history which doesn’t belong to them.

    And (although I absolutely do not equate tranny and nigger and find people who do that offensive) I feel the same way about trans men and FAAB genderqueer people using “tranny.” Want a hipster community term… get your OWN damn slang. Don’t decide who should and who shouldn’t be offended by a term which hasn’t even been used against you. Or whatever, use tranny and just know that every time I hear you say it, I’m shooting daggers at you and have zero respect for your lack of empathy and sense of entitlement.

    • From my experience working in San Francisco Unified School District for over a decade, this is an messy, messy topic. At one agency I worked at, we had a multi-ethnic, multi-gendered, multi-sexual orientation, intergenerational staff. After intense debate — mostly with the older generation (regardless of ethnicity) standing on the side of it should never be said or tolerated and the younger generation (again regardless of ethnicity) stating it was fine and there was nothing derogatory about it — we decided that there is a huge difference between n—er versus n—a. (As you can tell I still won’t type those words, and that is *my* choice.) We still made a choice that saying the word (regardless of -er or -a) was an opportunity for education and discussion about word choice with a particular emphasis on intervening more often when it was -er and not -a.

      I use this as an example because from what I can tell this is also an issue of generationalism here. I’m reading lots of “you can’ts” and “you shouldn’ts” rather than stating personal experience. Nuance does not reside in “can’ts” and “shouldn’ts”.

      Also, Lindsey states “tranny” has been used against him. If that is so, and I am not going into speculation against Lindsey, then he has every right for self determination around identity politics.

      • You’re mentioning ONE situation where “nigga” was supposedly okay. Sorry, but for an issue that charged and of historic importance, that’s not enough. I would hope that if a white person said “nigga” to a black person (no matter the context), and the black person found it offensive or appropriative, that the white person would have the humanity and compassion TO NOT USE IT AGAIN in that context and not question their feelings about it. It’s a given there are many trans women who dislike tranny being thrown around in general usage… especially by cis persons, trans men and FAAB genderqueer people. But is that being respected… no. Instead we get explanations how the supposedly more evolved young trans women have no problem with men or non-trans persons using the term. Which is exactly the kind of dismissiveness why so many trans women don’t feel welcome in the larger queer community.

        No, I disagree it’s purely generational. I know many young trans women who hate the term tranny especially when the word is used by other than trans women or by any flavor of cis person. And again, if tranny is “reclaimed” (which in and of itself is a fiction, because even queer is an incredibly hurtful term to many gay men depending on the context… such as Ron Paul calling someone a queer) when is it okay to throw tranny around? Should trans children be called trannies? Is it okay to call trans people you don’t know in a work situation trannies? Here’s an I statement… call me (or trans women in general) a tranny without consent and you don’t feel like my ally. Deny that trans women and trans men have a very different history with that term and you sound like someone who really isn’t too caring about respecting trans women. And mentioning Compton’s or quoting Kate Bornstein doesn’t make up for that. :(

  4. I support whatever identifier a person chooses to claim for their own. Identity is property of the owner and non-determined by the rest of society. Recently, I claimed the term “hag-fag” and love myself for it.

    • It’s bullshit to say someone can claim a pejorative that doesn’t apply to them as an identity. Trans men have no right to claim “tranny”.

  5. Yup. Sorry, but I have to disagree solely on the hurt that I know this appropriation causes many transwomen. If you wanted to be a respectful ally, it would behoove you to not call yourself something that causes anyone pain. Just like many gay friends of mine have said they disapprove of the word fag, I respect their wishes & don’t use it.
    Also, you must think of the male-privilege this is coming from, trans or cis male identified people have more access in the world than trans women. To evoke your privilege to silence trans women who are offended by this usage is to silence their rights, feelings & emotions. You cannot say that its up to you to decide what offense is ‘legitimate’. It’s a step away from saying transwomen who are offended are hysterical.
    I generally agree with you & think you’re a real stand up guy, but I’m sorry, in this case your white & male privilege seem to be clouding your view.

  6. @palacinky I was talking about an entire organization (not just one instance) where the pluralistic staff had a deep discussion about the use of language and its application within programs. And it wasn’t supposedly ok, it was an opportunity for education and conversation not demonization over usage.

    I’m pointing out solely that language is messy and complex. It isn’t easily boiled down to can’ts and shouldn’ts. Did I kick youth out for calling me a faggot? No. I took it as an opportunity to talk to them about the language they used. I told them not theoretically how it hurt people. I said how it hurt me. 9 times out of 10, they stopped using the word if not immediately soon there after.

    As you mentioned “queer” is another hot buttoned word. I identify as queer, and someone who tells me I can’t call myself that term because it hurts them is inflicting the same damage as all of the shouts of “queer” I got on the playground being bullied as a kid to me. (In fact I ended up in the hospital in a game of smear the queer when I was in the sixth grade.) I have chosen the word queer as my identifier because I don’t see gender in simply binary terms, and I have had lovers and relationships all across the continuum (and outside of it). Bi doesn’t fit. Gay doesn’t fit.

    I’m not saying one should go out there and inconsequentially use terminology. I, again, think there is nuance, and that is what I read in Lindsey’s piece.

  7. First, I want to apologize if using the analogy of the n-word has in any way derailed the discussion. That is a discussion for a different article. My point was that you can’t reclaim something that is used against a group you’re not a member of. Tranny is used specifically against trans feminine folks, and we should have the final say on its use.

    “The common narrative from many transwomen is that tranny has long been used to degrade transwomen”

    This is totally true. It has been used almost exclusively against trans women. Notice the space; I’m a trans woman, not a transwoman. I’m no more a transwoman than I am a whitewoman, upperlowerclasswoman, queerwoman, or americanbornwoman.

    “and finds its roots in the heteronormative porn industry, where it is often synonymous with terms like “she-male.””

    Yes. Here is more of the issue. Trans women are constantly paraded out by the media and the porn industry as freaks. Trans men often complain about a lack of visibility, but your invisibility is due to privilege granted by transmisogyny. “Trying to be a woman” is seen as disgusting and perverted, while “wanting to be a man” is seen as normal.

    “In the past few years however, many transmen and other gender variant folks — including some transwomen”

    Again, more issue. Why is it that we as trans women are the ones paraded out and forced into sex work, but “many transmen” and “some transwomen” are the ones reclaiming a word used against most trans women? You guys have no damn right to take back a word used against us. Once we have successfully taken it back, we might think about letting you use it. Maybe.

    “Many transwomen who have a negative history with “tranny” do not feel it is the place of transmen or other gender variant folks to reclaim it, since the history resides mostly with transwomen.”

    Duh. You pretty much summed up the issue. The history with the word is ours. Stop trying to use it.

    “But I would wager that the reason this term has been used more to degrade transwomen as opposed to transmen is largely because of transmasculine invisibility.”

    You’re invisible because you’re not seen as big of a threat to the gender binary. It’s ok for women to wear pants, but not for men to wear skirts in our culture. The entire issue boils down to transmisogyny. We are seen as more of threat, which is why we are also disproportionately on the TDoR list every year and disproportionately unemployed.

    “Dictating who can and cannot reclaim a certain word within a community only creates fissures in that community.”

    No, claiming a word that you clearly have no place reclaiming creates fissures. Stop it.

    • The thing that always confuses me about this argument is: he clearly DOES have a history with the word, no? I mean, if it’s been yelled at him pejoratively, then he’s had the word used against him.

      I honestly don’t know how I feel about this argument as a whole – I don’t use the term personally to refer to myself, and would never encourage others to do so. But I also think there is an amount of hurtfulness in denying that trans men do suffer abuse as a result of their identities. I’m not denying that more violence is visited upon trans women, and agree with your point about trans men having access to more privilege and being less of a threat to the gender binary (I mean, really that can’t be argued at all).

      But still, and I’m asking honestly here, doesn’t that boil down to oppression olympics? Aren’t we constantly discouraged from saying “well, but I’m more oppressed than you, so I have more say”? Doesn’t that just lead us in circles that get us nowhere?

      To me I always see the closest analogy in the word “queer.” It was obviously first used against gay men and, mostly likely, trans women because gay men and trans women were the targets of basically all of the hatred directed against homosexuals and gender variant people initially. Lesbians and trans men were, for all intents and purposes, invisible when it came to literature or public knowledge in as much as it was available to the point that people could hurl slurs. This invisibility assuredly had much to do, as you pointed out, with society being more forgiving of transgressions by cis women and those who take on male presentation. Despite this, eventually the entire community (or, to be fair, people from each letter considered a part of the community, although of course there are some who still don’t like this word) ended up using the word queer. Because while everyone may not have been oppressed in the same way by the word, it was agreed that enough people had been touched by the word that it was pretty universally applicable (and also, probably more so, because Queer Theory popped up with a body of theoretical ideas that were pretty remarkable).

      I guess in the end my point is that, to those hurling the insults, it doesn’t matter what the history of the word is, and so they’ll use it against me regardless of whether or not it was traditionally been used that way. So how do I deal with that? If I can’t reclaim it, do I have to just take it?

      • Two quick responses:

        he clearly DOES have a history with the word, no? I mean, if it’s been yelled at him pejoratively, then he’s had the word used against him.

        Straight men get called “faggot” very frequently, but when it occurs it is often as much or more of an insult to gay people everywhere than anything about how that straight man identified. Also, cis women get called “tranny” very frequently, but I don’t think you would argue for Sarah Palin to reclaim the term tranny or for straight men to reclaim the term faggot.

        doesn’t that boil down to oppression olympics?

        Oppression Olympics is when you pit two different kinds of oppression against each other (i.e. which is worse, sexism or racism? Do gays have it worse than blacks? etc). It is entirely different to discuss intersectionality and recognize two different forms of oppression that are acting at the same time. It’s not about who has it worse, but about acknowledging the existence of misogyny.in addition to transphobia.

    • Seconded, Tori.

      PS, Does anyone see a problem with there being NO trans women / transfeminine writers or submissions on here? (This is last I checked, and with the information given by the bios on here.)

      • You’re not wrong about the lack of trans women/transfeminine writers. It’s definitely a serious issue (and speaks undoubtedly to some of the issues that have been brought up in the comments).

        That said, this is an open submission blog, and I’m sure that any pieces anyone who has read this post would like to write for this blog (including, perhaps, a response to this post?) would be more than welcome.

      • Our lack of trans feminine writers is a problem, and one we have tried to rectify. We have reached out to persons of all shades of gender that we know and have asked our writers to do the same. Sadly we have received no pieces from trans feminine writers. Mason is correct in saying we are an open submissions website. We have never turned down or turned away a piece or writer who submitted. We will continue to seek out all types of people, in order to more aptly reflect the variance of gender identities that exist in our community.

        Patrick Gill

      • I see it is a problem that there are no openly trans women writing for this site, but I also see a problem with the way you seem to be gathering this information. Are you basing it strictly on bios and pictures?

        You could be mistakenly identifying someone who is genderqueer as feminine or masculine or perhaps missing someone who is less open about their transition. Also, with a name like trans dyke, have you considered writing for the site and helping fix this problem?

  8. It’s important to acknowledge the sexism inherent in the term. At least in my experience, I have heard it negatively used to refer to cis women more often that I’ve heard it negatively used for trans men. But I don’t think anyone here would argue that means that it would be appropriate for Sara Palin and Brittney Spears should “reclaim” the term.

    I’d highly recommend my three part series on the term, Let’s Talk About Tranny, especially part three.

    I agree that it is silly to tell people who is “allowed” to use a term or not, but I think discussing the consequences of using the term is very important. Of course trans men *can* us the term, but rather than take the power out of the term, it’s just going to create trans spaces where trans women don’t feel comfortable or welcome.

    It’s worth pointing out that I first heard about this blog a couple weeks ago when someone on facebook was calling for a boycott of it because of subtle transmisogyny. They cited the lack of trans women contributors and appropriation of images of historical trans women activists. I didn’t think it was a big deal at the time, but within that context, this article seems to be a very poor decision. This article gives the impression that your reputation of excluding and dismissing trans women is accurate. Whether that impression is true or not, the fact that you couldn’t anticipate that outcome is an issue in itself.

    Personally, it’s not a big enough deal that I would want to make calls for a boycott, but unfortunately it does lead me to think less of this blog, as will be the case for many other trans women. And I imagine it will be that much harder to recruit more than a token trans women or two to be contributors. When people tell you that you shouldn’t use the term, it’s not out of a desire to police your identity as much as it is to avoid these consequences.

  9. @Mason:

    “If I can’t reclaim it, do I have to just take it?”

    Those are your only two alternatives? Either/or? Really?

    Calling “oppression Olympics” is a great way of silencing unique histories of oppression certain groups have faced. It’s right up there with “political correctness” in saying to a group “shut up and stop complaining.” It isn’t even about the amount of oppression we’re discussing here… (although you’re right about trans women getting more violence and direct discrimination hurled at them… and it’s not just about “trans men’s invisibility,”) it’s about a term which is specifically used to promote trans misogyny and which, overwhelmingly, is NOT used against trans men. Yes, Lindsey said he’s been called a tranny… I’m sorry he had to experience that. But ask virtually any non-trans person (especially the transphobic ones) to draw a “tranny” and I guarantee it won’t look one bit like Lindsey. Again, Google “tranny” and see how many references to trans women vs. trans men come up. It’s a term used to market trans women in porn (which, again, is almost completely distributed and created by non-trans people and not about empowerment), to ridicule the “realness” of trans women and to mark them as being trashy and fake and to brand any femme cis woman who doesn’t perform her femininity the right way as the ugliest/fakest thing you can be… a trans woman.

    And I haven’t heard anyone… anyone saying you CAN’T use the word. Last time I looked we don’t have that level of power over anyone else. What I heard some of us saying is that using it is disrespecting trans women… community member or no. Is using “trans” that hard to do? Last time I looked it’s one syllable shorter and carries a whole lot less baggage for some of us than tranny. :(

    • My intent was not to silence, but I am sorry if that is what I did, and I do apologize. I realize that I, for many reasons, am not always perfect in acknowledging the places where my privilege overtakes a discussion. I think a lot of times in these discussions, what I hear is “you face no oppression,” but I see by your comment that this is not your intent at all, and I think I understand better the nuance of this argument. And, again, I can see where my privilege and desire to wield it (or “do as I wish”) can get in the way of understanding things. Thank you for taking the time to respond and educate me. As I said, I don’t use the word because I understand that it is hurtful for many, but I think now I have a better grasp of why I should continue to refrain.

  10. The bottom line is, it’s our word as trans women and you can’t fucking have it. Stop using it, you look like an asshole. Adding “fag” at the end doesn’t make me want to punch you in the face any less every time I hear you throw it around. By using it without our permission, you’re not bringing the community together, you’re simply being a privilege denying oppressor.

    Also, trans male invisibility? Two words, Chaz Bono.

  11. Two days and my comment is still awaiting moderation, so here it is a second time with the links removed:

    It’s important to acknowledge the sexism inherent in the term. At least in my experience, I have heard it negatively used to refer to cis women more often that I’ve heard it negatively used for trans men. But I don’t think anyone here would argue that means that it would be appropriate for Sara Palin and Brittney Spears should “reclaim” the term.

    I’d highly recommend my three part series on the term, Let’s Talk About Tranny, especially part three. (link removed, google it)

    I agree that it is silly to tell people who is “allowed” to use a term or not, but I think discussing the consequences of using the term is very important. Of course trans men *can* us the term, but rather than take the power out of the term, it’s just going to create trans spaces where trans women don’t feel comfortable or welcome.

    It’s worth pointing out that I first heard about this blog a couple weeks ago when someone on facebook was calling for a boycott of it because of subtle transmisogyny. They cited the lack of trans women contributors and appropriation of images of historical trans women activists. I didn’t think it was a big deal at the time, but within that context, this article seems to be a very poor decision. This article gives the impression that your reputation of excluding and dismissing trans women is accurate. Whether that impression is true or not, the fact that you couldn’t anticipate that outcome is an issue in itself.

    Personally, it’s not a big enough deal that I would want to make calls for a boycott, but unfortunately it does lead me to think less of this blog, as will be the case for many other trans women. And I imagine it will be that much harder to recruit more than a token trans women or two to be contributors. When people tell you that you shouldn’t use the term, it’s not out of a desire to police your identity as much as it is to avoid these consequences.

    • This is Patrick, co-editor of the the site. I am sorry for not responding to your comment earlier, I must have overlooked it on my last scanning of our comments.

      I want to start by saying I really enjoyed reading your piece Lets Talk About Tranny on Bilerico, and if it is at all possible, I hope perhaps we could reblog it here or potentially have you write something similar with us.

      I understand that in light of recent comments made about the transmisogyny/ trans fem invisibility of our site, that there is more than a warranted wariness of if this is truly a space where trans women can feel respected and that their voices can be heard. I want so badly for it to be, but I respect and understand a skepticism. As a gay cis-man, if I saw a site that was claiming that I was safe to speak my mind, yet I saw no one like me posting, I would be skeptical.

      I have to say that this post was not published without hesitation. We wanted to wait for contributions from a few of the trans-feminie writers on our e-mail list, but we were at a lack of pieces for the week. We also feel this piece is well written from and earnest perspective and that it would inspire commentary and fruitful discussion. What we needed to be was more conscious of was our timing, and as you recognize in your piece, aware of the context.

      I want to continue to say as well that this site strives to be an open resource and a digital space for all Queer identities. In our few months of existence we have failed to promote trans-feminine voices the way they deserve to be. But this has not been without effort on our part. We have reached out, and will continue to reach out, to members of the trans feminine community not just in hopes of righting the wrong we have perpetrated in our first three months, but in our effort to make this site the inclusive, celebratory, and strong site we need it to be.

      Thank you for your comment, I hope again to someday thank you for a contribution to the site.

      Love and respect,
      Patrick Gill

      • Thanks Patrick, yeah, there’s a setting where if a comment includes multiple links it will automatically be held for moderation. You can turn it off if you want – or you can keep an eye out for moderated comments.

        Anyway, I think this is a classic problem of lack of representation. Nothing new to trans women, and I’ve seen it discussed to death with lack of people of color represented in queer spaces. The key is understanding the systemic issues leading to it. Being open and inviting is a good first step, but there are always reasons people choose not to participate. Those reasons need to be investigated and addressed, but unfortunately that usually gets cut off with defensiveness.

        Anyway, email me at nodesignation@gmail.com. We can talk about a guest posting.

        Oh, and as a side note, can I give your language a gentle push from trans-feminine to either trans women or trans female? As it happens, I’m a butch woman, so I don’t really consider myself a part of the “feminine spectrum” but I definitely am a trans woman and on a trans female spectrum. Or, while it’s an extra word, you could even say trans female/feminine specturm and be inclusive both of me and of trans-feminine genderqueers who don’t identify as female.

      • Thank you for the pointers, on moderating comments and language. Also we are going to put in place some mechanisms to combat privilege when it comes to contributions and publication. I am really excited to talk to you about future pieces.

    • Wow, I would also like to appologize for my beyond novice status regarding the functions of a WordPress site. We have never had a comment before that required approval, and was not aware of your comments pending publication status. This is my fault and I hope to all things considered holy this will not happen to anyone else or ever again.

  12. Tranny has been primarily used as a derogatory slang word against trans* women. I can acknowledge it is used amongst and against other gender non variant folks, but I also believe that it is not a word for us trans* men to reclaim; it simply hasn’t been used against us to the degree that it has been used against trans* women. I think that this is delicate ground upon which we tread, because when you say things like, “I believe I should be able to reclaim this word,” you are inadvertently erasing the history of the women who have been defiled by it over the years. This isn’t a subject to be solved by a blog or by the words of a trans* man, but I do hope that over the years, as a community, we can reclaim some of our HISTORY from the entanglement of the derogatory words we’ve all faced throughout our lives.

  13. Pingback: No Place to Call Home: A Commitment to Diversity « In Our Words·

  14. Black women are extremely unique and, they are a very different type of women.
    There are so numerous stereotypes linked with black women and, you will find the ladies
    really exciting. The women can be found in all parts of the world and, the most popular black ladies are African Americans.

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