Trigger warning for what pretty much boils down to transphobia, even though the person in question would never call it such. Also for short discussion of transphobic violence.
Some people think that I can’t stop them using the word ‘tranny.’ Watch me. They didn’t feel the full force of my wrath when it was said that because it was a friend’s birthday party and anything longer than a brief ‘don’t use that word’ call-out would have been awkward. But if it’s tried again again people will.
The word is steeped in a history of transphobia. Some people are reclaiming it, and that’s all well and good; that’s not my business. I’m very tentative about using either transgender or transsexual to refer to myself, although I am most definitely not either cisgender or cissexual (I think the trans-cis binary is another one I’m not really a part of). But for cis people to use it – no.
Speaking as someone who can lapse into poet mode, it’s an ugly, ugly word. Try saying it (actually, don’t). It sounds derogatory. It takes a perfectly okay root (trans) and makes it sound ugly and nasty.
Also, it’s just not acceptable. Too many people have it thrown at them on a daily basis. I’ve had it. I would guess that anyone who isn’t perfectly gender-normative has had it. And it’s so often accompanied by other things. The denial of basic rights. Injury. Abuse. Murder.
People die with that word ringing in their ears. No-one should have to live with it.