Thursday, October 1, 2009

Note to the World

1. Transgender people do not all look alike.
2. Thus, there is no such thing as “looking like” a transgender person.
3. If you think there is, that’s based on our own prejudiced assumptions.
4. There is nothing wrong with being transgender, nor with looking like whatever it is you think that transgender people look like.
5. Therefore, saying that someone “looks” transgender as a form of insult is nonsensical not only as a statement, but also as an insult.
6. And it’s sure as hell not funny.
7. “Tranny,” however, is a bigoted slur against transgender people, particularly trans women or other people on the trans-feminine spectrum.
8. Saying that someone “looks like a tranny” is therefore also an insult not to the person (usually not transgender) who is being “insulted,” but to actual transgender people, as it indicates not only that they all look alike, but also that there is something wrong and amusing by looking like they (both supposedly and actually) do.
9. The kind of thinking that says there is something wrong or amusing about “looking transgender” or actually being transgender contributes an incredible amount to the frequent murder of transgender people, particularly trans women.
10. If any of this has made you think about things that you’ve never thought about before, and you would like to learn more, you really ought to google “transgender 101.”

I have a sad feeling that it will be necessary to link to this post many, many times in the future. If there’s anything I’ve missed on the topic of this one narrow yet very prevalent slice of transphobia, please feel free to reblog with additions.

Reposted from The Curvature on Tumblr


  1. I'm not transphobic. but unfortunately my only experiences with actual transgender people have not been very happy ones. Hopefully this will change in the future, but at the same time its not like I seek out transgender people or gay people etc to be 'well rounded'. People are people and I think trying to be friends with every 'shade in the rainbow' as it were is just as odd and biased as being afraid or bigoted since you believe they are like another species which you must be diplomatic towards. At least thats how I've always viewed it. Like when people say "I have a black friend, so I'm not racist". Some people just seem to seek out gay, trans, etc friends to give them validation that they aren't a homophobe or transphobe etc.

  2. All great points; however, some trans people use the word "tranny" to describe themselves. It is a personal preference to the person using it. As an example, I describe myself as "queer" and a large number of lesbians I know call themselves "dyke." Both of those words are considered offensive to other people who call themselves "pansexual" or just "lesbian."

    All that being said I TOTALLY agree calling someone a "tranny" is WAY OUT OF LINE because calling someone anything is what is wrong - regardless of the word used.

    I would add number 11:
    Transgendered people are not "Its" - they are people, so loudly commenting to your friend "I wonder what IT IS?" is really quite horribly offensive.