Saturday, June 27, 2009

Nothing Fracking Funny Or Respectful About Tranny Alert

I checked my e-mail to see an alert from GLAAD and a post by Lisa Harney of Questioning Transphobia about a blog called Tranny Alert.

This disclaimer is on the homepage of the blog

This site is in no way meant to disparage or belittle any member of the LGBT community. We here at Tranny Alert are simply admirers of the bravery and uniqueness of the entire trans-community. While there is a comedic element to our site, under no circumstance do we condone any mistreatment of any member of the LGBT community and support full and equal rights for all.

And if you are thinking of using this site to try to locate and harm any perceived transgender individual, just remember, the girls WILL come for you. Just ask Mimi Plastique

And this is supposed to be humorous?

Yeah right, that’s about as funny as Chuck Knipp’s new jack minstrel show.

Mimi Plastique posts her videos on YouTube and is unapologetically open about her life and who she is. The problem is that much of the trans community contains people who for various reasons may not be as open as I, Mimi or other transgender people, bloggers/v-bloggers about their status.

The trans community has major concerns (for damned good reasons) about the possibility that your site could potentially open the door for our haters, armed with pictures from your site, to attack people.

So do you, otherwise you wouldn't have posted that disclaimer.

It could put a transperson who is in a relationship and has not yet told the person she's involved with her status in a position where she could be murdered.

It could potentially put people at risk of losing employment if they are NOT out at work, are employed by people or companies who are NOT trans friendly, or live in ares not covered by anti-transgender discrimination laws.

There are also cisgender women who have combinations of physical features that would be considered by the knuckle-dragging gender illiterate as putting them in the trans category.

There have already been cases of ciswomen falsely accused of being trans facing discrimination or physical violence because of people ASSUMING they were.

I find it disingenuous that you have a blog set up to out transpeople and you won't post or put up your own personal information on your site.

So if you won't put your own personal info on the Net, much less a picture of yourself on your site, what makes you think you can do so to transgender people?

If you respected our community as much as you claim you do, you wouldn't cavalierly dismiss our concerns, much less send huffy tweets on Twitter when people call you out on it.

Wow people really need to get a f*cking sense of humor.

Wow, spoken like someone who is cluelessly wallowing in cisgender privilege

I don't find it fracking humorous that trans people of color disproportionately make up 70% of the Remembering Our Dead list. Angie Zapata's killer was just recently convicted and sent to jail in Greeley, CO for killing her, with Lateisha Green's killer going on trial starting July 13.

I don't find it fracking humorous that a blog that ludicrously claims admiration for us and our struggle for first class citizenship in reality dehumanizes us and makes us even more vulnerable to assault or worse from our haters.

In addition, the 'tranny' term is a problematic one that is considered disrespectful to many people in this community. I'm sure GLAAD pointed you to the problematic and defamatory terminology section of their online Media Guide.

If you haven't read it, I'll make it easy for you and other peeps who don't get what descriptive language is and isn't respectful to my transgender community to get 'ejumacated' on the topic.



PROBLEMATIC: "transgenders," "a transgender"
PREFERRED: "transgender people," "a transgender person"
Transgender should be used as an adjective, not as a noun. Do not say, "Tony is a transgender," or "The parade included many transgenders." Instead say, "Tony is a transgender person," or "The parade included many transgender people."

PROBLEMATIC: "transgendered"
PREFERRED: "transgender"
The word transgender never needs the extraneous "ed" at the end of the word. In fact, such a construction is grammatically incorrect. Only verbs can be transformed into participles by adding "-ed" to the end of the word, and transgender is an adjective, not a verb.

PROBLEMATIC: "sex change," "pre-operative," "post-operative"
PREFERRED: "transition"
Referring to a sex change operation, or using terms such as pre- or post-operative, inaccurately suggests that one must have surgery in order to truly change one's sex.

PROBLEMATIC: "hermaphrodite"
PREFERRED: "intersex person"
The word "hermaphrodite" is an outdated, stigmatizing and misleading word, usually used to sensationalize intersex people.


Defamatory: "deceptive," "fooling," "pretending," "posing," or "masquerading"
Gender identity is an integral part of a person's identity. Please do not characterize transgender people as "deceptive," as "fooling" other people, or as "pretending" to be, "posing" or "masquerading" as a man or a woman. Such descriptions are extremely insulting.

Defamatory: "she-male," "he-she," "it," "trannie," "tranny," "gender-bender"
These words only serve to dehumanize transgender people and should not be used

If someone is harmed or God forbid, killed because of being outed by your blog, the blood of those transpeople will not only be on your hands, you will have opened the door to legal complications for yourself as well.

As the people living trans lives, you can get pissed all you want, but we're the ones with the intimate knowledge of what the risks are for outed transpeople.

You not only don't have that right as a cisperson to unilaterally out a transperson against their will, you don't have the right to arrogantly tell my community what we can or can't find insulting.

As trans people, we deeply appreciate our allies, but we draw the line at being disrespected by people who claim that status, then cop an attitude when we call them out on their problematic behavior.

1 comment:

gudbuytjane said...

Hi Monica, thank you for this post. It is sad that we're still educating people about such basic concepts, and tragic that anyone could have thought this site was a reasonable idea.

I am the same gudbuytjane mentioned in the GLAAD piece. I was tipped off about the site Friday morning by Holly at Feministe, so I put up some information at my LJ and began to twitter about it, and the response took off. It was exciting to have the site taken down so quickly, and to see that people who aren't trans women clearly understood why this was a hate site (despite that most ridiculous disclaimer).

Sadly, the people couldn't leave it at that, and a Twitter user (who later was revealed to have connections to the site owners) began harassing me and making slanderous claims about me and other people involved in the action. They lied about the site owner, saying he was a youth, and then began arguing I was endangering the welfare of a youth. Classy.

The irony is that because of the harassment I began digging, and quickly found personal information on the site owners and maintainers. Once I made it clear to them that if they continued with the harassment and lies we'd share their information they seemed to back off (but not before laying on some more transphobic slurs to me).

The not shocking but sickening revelation was that this site was created by white cisgender gay men. Transmisogyny and entitlement to trans identities and language among gay men is something that really needs to be called out more in the cis queer world, and I hope this opened some eyes.

Ohwell, the transphobes who created this hate site got at least part of their disclaimer right (to paraphrase): If you mess with trans women, we'll kick your ass.