Do Not Use

TW: Transmisogynistic slurs.

I got a newsflash for you.  If you are not a trans woman, the word tr*nny is not yours. I can hear the whining now. But, tr*nny has been used against me! It’s a slur against all trans* people! Let me break it down for you. The simple answer is so? Doesn’t matter. Straight people call each other faggot all the time. I guess if a straight person gets called a fag, they can use and reclaim that word, huh? The answer is no, they can’t. The same goes for the word tr*nny.

I used to think the same way. I am a non-binary trans guy. People have called me a tr*nny (especially a trend tr*nny) numerous times. I was put in my place by some rather angry women when I argued for my use of the word. However, I have come to my senses. Just look at how the word is used. The most common and prominent usage is in porn; porn that features trans women. When people think of the word, they do not conjure all forms of trans* people. They conjure images of trans women, especially non-passing trans women.  The punch line of most tr*nny jokes? Trans women. Generally how they are really men, dudes in dresses, and not actually women (which we know is a bunch of bull).

This leads to the other community who thinks they can reclaim the word; drag queens. Now, historically, the word tr*nny comes from the word transvestite. This outdated term used to include any CAMAB individual who cross-dressed, thus it used to include drag queens and trans women. Pre-Stonewall, the drag and trans* communities were pretty intermeshed since it was one of the few places trans women were relatively accepted. However, times and words changed. The trans* community branded off as it gained its own somewhat acceptance and the word tr*nny followed evolution. Just as the word faggot now is a derogatory word towards gay people, the word tr*nny has evolved to exclusively mean trans women and trans feminine MAAB people. Thus, tr*nny is not a word for drag queens to use, justify, or reclaim. The word belongs to the trans women. So, do us all a favor and stop.


Author: Lucian Clark

Lucian Clark was born and raised in South New Jersey. Recently they published their first novel, a dark romance, titled Cemetery Drive. Their works have been featured across numerous platforms such as The Advocate and in anthologies like Werewolves Versus and Postcards From The Void. They've also been featured on several podcasts to talk about horror, activism, and their writing. With a passion for all things spooky, horrific, and queer, Lucian can often be found on social media talking about werewolves, rats, and My Chemical Romance. When not actively writing or reading, Lucian is also the curator of the queer horror website, GenderTerror, which features original art, stories, interview and more. They can also be found playing video games or with their pets (currently some rats and a cat). They are active in local and national social activism with a focus on LGBTQ+ rights and reproductive justice.

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