changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

Transsexual Summer November 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 10:22 am
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Well…I loved it.

The positivity… the humour…. what a lovely bunch of people.

I look forward to seeing Sarah blossom… felt the same heartwrench as her housemates when she walked in all self conscious and barely able to maintain eyecontact…. how lovely it would be for each and every individual if they could make their first steps in such a supportive environment.

But best of all I loved that every time they said tranny I could hear the distant sound of a certain sort of trans activist popping in apoplexy.

Where i grew up…. when i grew up…. tranny wasn’t an insult unless it was meant as one. It was interesting to see an Australian commenter somewhere saying tranny is used in Australia with affection. That makes the fact Tim Minchin (who was raised in Perth Australia) was pressured into believing tranny is a taboo word that shouldn’t be used (unless you are trans and even then possibly not at all) even more of a shame.

Sorry… whats that?

I shouldn’t use the word becuase I’m not trans?

I have 3 answers to that…. I think many many people have a touch of the trans about them…and who is to judge who has or who hasn’t… its a very wide spectrum.

I’ve lived the transitional experience as a partner…. its taken over my life…my family’s life for a couple of years…. I’ve taken the insults (never ‘tranny’ as far as i remember) hand in hand with my partner… that gives me the right to use any word i damn well please.

Oh…and a general ‘fuck off’ – no-one tells me which parts of my vocabulary I’m allowed to use and when.

I think Transsexual Summer could be the making of ‘reclaiming’ the word…. it was used with joy and positivity…. I think anyone has the right to use it in that context…. shouldn’t we all be able to feel and share the joy of being trans?

In fact I think anyone has the right to use it in any context…. when its used with hate… its the hatred that tells you something about the person rather than the words.

Just the same as I’m a huge believer in allowing the BNP and EDL the same platform as any other group…. not becuase I agree with them… but I think they should be allowed to get up and allow people to see what ignorant fuckwits they are.


If that makes me an ignorant fuckwit in your eyes dear reader…I’m happy with that.  I know where I’m coming from and being given a big pointy hat with a ‘C’ on the front (c for cis dontcha know) doesn’t make any difference at all…. playing the cis card in a discussion is what some trans people do… ‘is it becuase i is trans’? etc etc.

Hilariously I even saw the cis card played on my partner last week…. they couldn’t accuse her of being cis… but did imply she had transitioned late enough and recently enough to have held on to her cis privledge (ie not conformed to the trans re-education and language enforcement rules to the letter).

What playing the cis card does is say – behave the way ‘I‘ say or I‘ll presume you hate me. Isn’t that a bit neurotic and passive aggressive at the very least? Its just a single word…. I know how I am with people…. all people… (I don’t count trans as a special group who I need to behave differently to as a rule). Cis can be as big a loaded judgement call as tranny can…. its tit for tat. Same as a lot of feminists aren’t interested in equality…. but changing ends on the pitch and being top dogs for a while.

I guess its the gut reaction of an oppressed minority…. unfortunately as a bisexual woman I’ve never felt oppressed or part of a minority… I just don’t have a victim mentality I guess. (but maybe thats becuase I is trans and therefore a middle aged, middle class white male misogynist inside) 😉

Gosh what a conflict.

Anyway I look forward to the next in the series of Transsexual summer….




6 Responses to “Transsexual Summer”

  1. […] link to andrea’s blog sort of says it all. I don’t altogether agree: equally, though, i think it may now be […]

  2. Lucy Melford Says:

    I must catch up with this once I’m home again.

    I entirely agree that ‘tranny’ is a perfectly good word and may not only be the mot juste for a trans person at A Certain Stage in their personal development, but possibly a term of endearment. In any case I’m with you on defying the Word Police.


  3. Diane Miller Says:

    I am certainly not going to play the Word Police. (Grammar Police, yes, but that’s another badge.) If you want to use the word, fine. Personally, I find it dismissive and demeaning – I’m just a little tranny, you know – and I’m not the only one. I would personally appreciate it if that word disappeared from everyone’s vocabulary,. Call me trans, call me a transwoman, and I’m fine. Perhaps it’s my age. I all too clearly remember a time when it was never used “endearingly”. For what it’s worth.

  4. Sarah Says:

    I loathe the word “tranny”. During my transition it was always a term of abuse, and how are we to persuade the law that its use constitutes hate speech “f**king tranny…” if we use it ourselves and sanction its use by non-transsexual people.? It’s the direct functional equivalent of the N word.

    “no-one tells me which parts of my vocabulary I’m allowed to use and when.”

    A test: Would you use the N word?

    • eclectic chicken Says:

      hmmm…do i say nigger?… oooh i just did. I wouldn’t dream of saying it in an inappropriate context ie to a person of colour (which i believe is the term that gets me pc points at the moment…as opposed to ‘black’ back in the days when i gave a shit about such things).

      We asked our daughters the same question a couple of years ago and they said they would with but only with their black friends who they knew were actually ok with it – see different generation. Being black is pretty cool culturally….. so nigger got reclaimed (not by the generation who found it abhorant… but the new generation).

      Tranny I’m afraid is on its way to being cool…. it WAS an acceptable word (I certainly come accross several ‘old timer’ trans women who say they always saw it as useable until appropriated as an insult by a certain sort of trans activist)

      Please note i just used ‘trans women’…. words do many things… they need to be used contextually and sometimes just for the way they make a sentence flow and also for effect…and many other reasons.

      What I am totally against is blanket banns on words… a word is just a word…. cunt, nigger, tranny, spazz …. they are all just words and can be used in a multitude of ways and really only the person saying them knows the back story to why they do in full.

      There are even people I can say ‘you fucking cunt’ to and they’ll know I’m kidding them.

      Mostly I choose not to use those words… so as not to give unintentional offence… but thats MY choice… not yours.

      ps… interesting how you said tranny in your post but chose to say ‘the N word’ …I’d suggest that even you see them as words that still have a different amount of strength. I just don’t want too many of those sort of banned words in our language. It smacks of totalitarianism.

  5. Sarah Says:

    “hmmm…do i say nigger?… oooh i just did. I wouldn’t dream of saying it in an inappropriate context ie to a person of colour…”

    So you’re not a total libertarian when it comes to the use of the word. You moderate your use of it depending on context. In this case so as not to cause offence.

    We seem to agree. All I’m asking is that in a context where non-trans people are likely to be encouraged to see the use as acceptable, that we don’t use it. That if we want to use it, we do to so to ourselves within our own trans ‘communities” (Not that I feel a part of any community). That we moderate our use of it depending on context. In the same way that it’s ok for black people to call each other n*gger, but not for me to do so. I wouldn’t actually use it in private either, (because it has too much history) but that’s my choice.

    The use of ‘tranny’ on national tv before many thousands of people who might now use it innappropriately and perhaps hatefully is a context which shouldn’t even be on the radar. If one transperson is harmed as a result, the price is too high.

    (incidentally, I feel I can use the word here because much as your blog is super-wonderful, it feels like community and probably won’t reach as many cis people as MTS does on tv).

    I can’t agree that the use of tranny is cool; it’s used by too many bigots in the middle of the hate they screech at some of us (usually the more vulnerable ones early in transition). This isn’t reclaimable like “Queer”, as in Queer Theory. I think Tranny Theory has zero chance of adoption.

    On a self-critical note, for some reason this matters to me. It shouldn’t, due to my long-ago transition and social integration. Like lots of us, I try to consider myself now just a woman, not a trans anything. It seems I just can’t let go completely, and that’s a bit sad.


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