Transgender? Trannsexual? The power of words in self determination

Looks like the fight over the abusive nature of the relationship that post-transsexual people have with the Transgender Borg Cult is going public.

The comments section of this post on the Dallas Voice Site could use some out-spoken post-transsexual/transgender cult negative folks to make some points loudly regarding the treatment we receive at the hands of the Transgender Borg Cult.

From The Dallas Voice:

Tammye Nash
May 27, 2011

Early this week, we had a What’s Brewing post here on Instant Tea that included information about what was at the time a pending ruling from state District Judge Randy Clapp in Wharton on a lawsuit challenging Nikki Araguz’s right to the pension of her husband, a Wharton firefighter who had been killed in the line of duty.

In that first post, we used the term “transgender” to refer to Araguz, which is the general umbrella term that we use here at the Voice. We based that on conversations with advocates in the trans community who told us that “transgender” is an umbrella term that includes all those who are gender variant, while “transsexual” specifically refers to those who have fully transitioned or are in the process of transitioning.

So I was surprised to see comments to that first blog about Nikki Araguz taking us to task for describing her as “transgender” instead of using the term “transsexual,” and pointing out that Araguz had, in her personal blog, asked that the media refer to her as transsexual instead of transgender.


And then, Michi Eyre sent me an email explaining to me why my rationalization was offensive to her. We began an email conversation then that was quite enlightening for me, bringing home — once again and quite forcefully — the point that words have great power, and that all of us, in every situation, should choose our words most carefully.

Some people might see this as an unnecessary argument: Transgender, transsexual — isn’t just six of one, half dozen of another anyway? Well, no, it isn’t. Because we are talking about words that are more than words. These are words that encompass and describe and express individuals’ identities. Everyone has the right to identify themselves, instead of having someone else tell them who they are. So shouldn’t it follow then, that each of us should also have the right to choose how to express our identity, and how we want others to acknowledge that identity?

So, in hopes of maybe broadening some horizons — including mine, of course — and maybe even opening some minds by helping start and perpetuate and open, honest, respectful and productive dialog, I am, with her permission, reprinting here Michi Eyre’s explanation to me of the difference between “transgender” and “transsexual” and why it matters which one we use.

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2 Responses to “Transgender? Trannsexual? The power of words in self determination”

  1. amym440 Says:

    Keeping the fight over the use of the word transgender in the LGBT community is a sure way to lose the fight. I don’t consider myself LGB or Transgender so why should I bow to their claims of representing me? I think if ever there was a time to take the fight public it is now or forever face being forced into the LGBT and a being labelled transgender. This crap has gone on long enough its time to pull the plug.

    • Suzan Says:

      I never felt I needed some T grafted on to the Lesbian and Gay communities to represent me when I had a perfectly good L-Word. I have marched in several Dyke Marches but don’t bother looking for me at any Trans-Pride Marches. I did that one a couple of times in the 1990s and grew to realized “Transgender” does not represent me. And I sure as hell wish they would stop claiming to represent me or other post transsexual women be they lesbian or straight. For that matter according to some of the brothers I know, many of them wish the same.

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