There is currently a bit of a kerfuffle about the show Glee using the word “tranny” during their Rocky Horror episode. GLAAD is calling them in to have a little talk about it.
But here’s the thing, in a bigger sense, I still don’t know what appropriate term to use.
Yes, I know that the appropriate term is “transgender”, but I don’t think I’ve ever hear that used in a casual setting. It’s just too cumbersome and kinda clinical.
The first MTF transgender I knew was a loud brassy hippy-chick who was very kind to a naive young activist. She referred to herself as a tranny and, at the time, it seemed like everyone did. But while I know that term is still common among folks of a certain age who never thought of it as offensive, others find it to be an indication of disrespect.
Another friend of mine calls herself a T-girl. But I can’t say just how common that is. She may be the only one, for all I know.
So it’s a bit of an open question, I think. And one that is worth raising here as I know we have more than a few transgender readers. So I’ll ask you, our transgender folk (though others can opine as well):
Do you want to insist on “transgender”?
Some may. (I recall the lectures given to commenters on this site who made the fatal error of saying “transgendered”). But if so, is that a rule you keep for yourself? Do you always and only call yourself transgender?
Others may suggest that within friends other terms can be used. What might they be? What can we say that is not going to offend?
What can GLEE say that won’t offend? For that matter, is it even acceptable to be a sweet transvestite from transexual Transylvania anymore?