Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"T" Words?

We seem to embrace an inordinate amount of "T" words.  Transgender, transsexual, transvestite and of course "tr__ny."  On the Femulate blog yesterday, Stana, wrote a post backing the word "tr__ny.   I left a comment there but (being me) I felt the need to follow up on it here in Cyrsti's Condo.

First of all, I need to be very careful how I respond as I get very passionate about this subject. (I know you regulars are laughing now and Liz is saying-Damn Cyrsti and those HRT hormones!) So, my disclaimer is I don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings.

If I had to guess, and of course I will-. I would speculate those who have no problem with the word are older cross dressers from the transvestite days we all grew up in.  Also, girls in other countries, primarily Paula in the UK have said the Tr__ny word has a different social connotation there.I can't speak to that. What I can speak to is this:  is how I am perceived when I go to TGLBQ meetings.  Remember the experience of my first "Equality Springfield" Meeting (where I live) and I introduced myself as the only transgender woman in Springfield? Seriously if I had introduced myself as a tr__ny the other members would have wondered what drag show I was performing in that week.  Sure "Tr__ny is only a word but it's a powerful one in the meetings I have been to and I know there are those of you who say it's only a label-who cares.  I do- when I am trying to educate people to who I am.  It's like encouraging a third grader to use the "N" word for the black kids in class.
Equality Springfield Ohio Marching at Pride last summer.
Perhaps too,  it's because these people are fighting for rights all of us should have already had, such as the right not to be fired for being trans or a cross dresser, housing, rest rooms, health care and more.  I'm throwing the stone in my own glass house here. I was as deeply closeted as I could be for decades because I knew I would lose my job-transvestite, tr__ny or what.

What has happened is the transgender word has taken on more significance because transphobic members of the gay and straight community have pushed "tr__ny into being a gender slur.  For that reason alone I consider it the same as the "N" or "F" word because I have had it used on me.

It took me a long time to get here, but when I go to Trans Ohio and the upcoming Pride events-I want the world to know I'm different. I'm not a "tr__ny vet" but a transgender vet and I'm sure I will see the queens and my cross dressing cousins enjoying themselves too as they should but I am not them either.  Like it or not "tr__ny" ties me in with them.   All I'm asking really is simple- I think it's a slur and don't use it on me.  In a land of free speech though, call yourself anything you want!

I love you all!

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A Life in Gender Flux