Tranny? Queer? What’s in a name?

Nicole Murray Ramirez has been around as long as I have.  She was around when I first started going to Christopher Street West Pride Day in LA in 1974. I have photos of her from those days.

She was involved in the Imperial Courts which give her as much of a legitimate claim to being a pioneer of the building of the trans-gay community connection as anyone.

But she’s a queen and these days drag queens are more or less rejected by the transgender community, which sometimes seems to have a homophobic streak.

That said, I think ‘trannie” has become like the “n-word”, disrespectful in spite of its common usage by trans-folks.

From The San Diego LGBT Weekly:  http://lgbtweekly.com/2013/02/21/tranny-queer-whats-in-a-name/

by Nicole Murray Ramirez
Thursday, February 21st, 2013

In her column last week in San Diego LGBT Weekly (issue 113, Feb. 14) Ms. Autumn Sandeen went off on RuPaul and others for using the word “tranny.” Ms. Sandeen even actually attacked RuPaul as “trans-negative” and that the word “tranny” was offensive. To whom, Ms. Sandeen?

The facts are that our GLBT community uses a lot of names and words to identify us and not all of us like or use the words and some do.

Let me give you a history lesson, Ms. Sandeen.

In the 1950s we were “homosexuals.” Around the 1960s we became “gay.” As gay men and women then in the 1970s we became “gay and lesbian.” Now, not everyone liked these names and labels while some did.

Many females like being called “gay women” and fought the name lesbian. To this very day Susan Jester (founder AIDS Walk, San Diego) does not like to be called a lesbian, but describes herself as a “gay woman.”

I remember serving on the national executive boards of the Marches on Washington and the debates and votes if we should add bi-sexual and transgender.

Now about transgender. It is a relatively new word for our community. I was a pre-operative transsexual during the late 1960s and 70s. The word transgender was not around.

All of a sudden a group of people organized and came up with the word “transgender” and a “transgender umbrella” that included everyone from drag queens to transsexuals.

The facts are that not everyone is even comfortable with this “trans-umbrella” and almost 100 percent of “drag queens” consider themselves “gay men.”

A lot of transsexuals consider themselves either women or men and hate to be called transgender, as they want to pass and consider themselves “heterosexual” after their complete operations, while others remain in the gay community and want to have the “trans” label added.

I have fought for “transsexuals” and yes, transgender people for decades as I’ve walked in their shoes and I am proud of the progress and visibility the trans community has accomplished in such a short time.

But you, Ms. Sandeen, don’t and can’t speak on behalf of the entire trans community and nor can I. And I do know this, that many of us use the word “tranny” with love and good meaning and have done so since the 1960s and 70s. Long before you began your activism.

Continue reading at:  http://lgbtweekly.com/2013/02/21/tranny-queer-whats-in-a-name/

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