Thursday, May 29, 2014

Is TERF a slur?

If you are not familiar with the term TERF, it stands for Trans* Exclusionary Rad Fem. If you are not familiar with the term Rad Fem, then you need to do some catching up and you should likely spend some time with a search engine of your choice. Go ahead, I'll be here when you get back.

Caught up now? Spiffy.

So there are members of the Rad Fems who are not very friendly to trans* women and some of them are not too easy on trans* men either. As a result of this treatment, a number of trans* folks have taken some exception to the way we are spoken of by these folks. As a way to make it easy to distinguish between the Rad Fems who accept trans* women in their midst and those who do not, the term TERF was coined. It is simply an anagram for trans* exclusionary Rad Fem. So it is a spot on designator. Now that the term TERF has made it into the vernacular of the queer populace, some of those who would be obvious candidates to be referred to as TERF have taken the public stance that it is a slur and not polite.

Well with my current stance on the RuPaul verses Carmen fiasco and general stance on slurs for trans* women perhaps I should stop using TERF. If I want currency in this conversation I must walk the talk eh? Well as these thoughts crossed my mind I was also almost listening to the TV that was droning on in the back ground on a news channel. I don’t know what story came up as I was deep in my thoughts but the word “terrorist” came through floating on the air at just the right moment. I do not think many terrorists would like being called that term, but it is what it is. Sometimes a term is spot on and ugly. Like TERF.

OMG!!! Did you just conflate TERF with terrorist? Probably a little. There are people in our society that hold ugly beliefs and cause hatred to increase and thus the chance at increased violence. >Racist, Bigot, Misogynist, Terrorist, Murder, Thief all these words are designator words that are useful in our vocabulary to denote an evil person in simple to use language we all understand.

It is my position that TERF is in this pile of words that we use to designate an evil person who holds dangerous, outdated and vicious views that stigmatize and threaten others.  Add this to the fact that it was coined as an anagram to designate Trans* Exclusionary Rad Fems it does not come to the level of slur. Now maybe if TERFs start being killed and beaten with TERF chanted at them as it is happening we can call it a slur. 

As it stands attempts to get this spot on word designated a slur is just an attempt to take currency in the conversation away from TS women. Which is just pathetic.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Defending slurs can only rip us apart.

Lately I have been hearing more calls for dissolution of the LGBT than usual from TS women. The thing that is different this time around is that I am hearing this call from women who were staunch defenders of the alliance.

The fuel of this call for the T to divorce the LGB is on the surface a small issue; we want a few words relegated to the heap of slurs not acceptable in polite company. We do not want words that have a history of use as slurs to be used. Our collective request has been belittled by an army of fans of the ever popular RuPaul who has become the standard bearer of those who say they wish to reclaim or own some of these words (Tranny in this case) seen as slurs. On every comment section of every article about the issue TS women are being attacked and belittled at every turn. Mostly we are being attacked by gay men who seem to have no true argument and some trans* folks who do not want energy wasted on this battle.
Now to be honest this issue is not even on the radar of most LGBT types. Not every one of us follows the gay press. But those who are involved have made it clear that TS women have no right to complain or check RuPaul. We are being told that because RuPaul is such the advocate we should shut up. I call bullshit! RuPaul is not being an advocate when he says he is going to continue to use Tranny. TS women are calling for this to stop!

Is it asking the community to much when we ask that slurs synonymous with trans* woman should not be used? Changing your language and maybe how you think of us is a small request. We have not asked for something that will cost society money or lives or even any honor or dignity. In fact we are offering the LGB and the rest of society an opportunity to show that they do support and respect the T. We are offering an opportunity to display honor and raise the dignity of trans* folks.

Please join the right side of history. At every turn in our history the side of inclusion and proper decorum has won. There is no reason to think that the defenders of transphobic slurs will win this culture war.
So it stands to reason that those of you who support RuPaul in this issue are indeed standing on the wrong side of history.

Friday, May 23, 2014

RuPaul needs to change his tune.

RuPaul is not a proper spokesman for the community. However it is what it is...He is famous and in the spotlight.

There is enough overlap of TS and Drag that we can not just wholesale say that drag is not under the TG umbrella. I know a number of girls who got started with drag and then came out as women and completely transitioned. There are national level awareness semi famous drag performers who have transitioned yet maintain their financial ties to the drag community.

Drag Queens sometimes are TS women. TS women are sometimes "drag queens".

So with that we have RuPaul saying his 2centavos which is complicating the message we are trying to get across.
So the next question is simple: how do we exert the pressure on him to alter his tone?
He is on the wrong side of this issue.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Stop with the transphobic slurs please.

Lately there has been a kerfuffle over transsexual women requesting that the word “Tranny” be removed from the name of an event in Australia. The event is called “Tranny Bingo” for those who do not already know.

Some folks are acting like this is a new thing but it isn’t. Transsexual women have been asking that this slur be removed from the polite lexicon and be relegated to the same heap that other slurs are placed. This word should not be used in any context in polite conversation. Personally I can see no use for the word except in one situation, porn; and only because it makes the search easy for the porn sellers and buyers. (I am not an unreasonable person.)

If you are sitting behind your keyboard taking it to town and want to search for some porn of your choosing then go ahead and shamefully type it into the search bar. Otherwise you should just not say it, type it or otherwise cause the word to be used in a polite conversation.


Because we asked you to do so as we see it as a slur for trans* woman. That should be enough. I shouldn’t have to debate you that this term is OK. It isn’t! If you are not a trans* person you have no currency in this conversation. None. Zero. Zip. NADA! So just stop using slurs. It is simple really.