Saturday, February 04, 2012

Blake, Stop Using The T-Slur

Blake Lively back in 2009 used the problematic T-word in a 2009 Allure magazine interview in which I wrote a post taking her to task for it at the time.

It's three years later, and obviously Miss Thang didn't get the message or learn from the recent experiences of Neil Patrick Harris, Kelly Osbourne or Lance Bass.

Lively did it again in another interview for the March issue of Elle magazine she's on the cover of.  

She had this problematic full of fail comment embedded in it when expressing her hopes to have children one day:.
I hope to have a few girls one day. If not girls, they better be trannies. Because I have some amazing shoes and bags and stories that need to be appreciated.
Excuse me?   Once again Blake, since you obviously missed it the first time we tried to point this out to you in 2009, tranny is considered an insulting slur word by increasing majorities of my community,.not a term of endearment.   If you consider yourself a trans ally, it is not cool, hip or edgy to use that word in referring to my community.   

Many of us didn't have the advantage like you of growing up in a home with two actors or having TV or movie roles before we graduated from high school, or being on countless magazine covers, so let me break it down for you once again since it's becoming increasingly clear you really don't have a clue how trans people live, what we have to deal with, or what it costs to be a transwoman..  

Although I am a proud and admitted fashionista at times, the major motivating factor of my transition Blake (and I daresay other transwomen) was to be comfortable in my own skin. 

I did not undergo HRT, laser and electrolysis, sessions with certified gender counselors and endocrinologists, undergo other trans medical procedures, spend the money needed to make that happen and morph into my statuesque fine brown frame solely so I'd be able to wear fabulous clothes, the latest designer shoes, Fashion Fair makeup or Victoria's Secret underwear.

That's not only a superficial and jacked up way of looking at us transwomen, it's a really superficial way of looking at femininity period.

As far as being my kind of transwoman is concerned Blake, the African-American and Latina ones are getting near genocidal levels of violence aimed at us.  To piggyback on and let the gravity of that statement sink in, less than 48 hours ago a 22 year old Washington DC transwoman named Deoni Jones was killed at a bus stop.

I sadly suspect that Ms. Jones won't be the last one that happens to before we gather across the world on November 20 for another round of TDOR remembrance events.

For trans women like me we face quadruple the unemployment even if we have advanced degrees. We have the trans woman's burden of having to grapple with the disrespect, ignorance and attacks on our humanity aimed at us by family, foe and frenemy.  We deal with police harassment and bullying from all quarters inside and outside the rainbow community.

And that's before we even get to confront the issues and isms that come with walking around this planet in a feminine body.

Blake, since it's obvious you're a twentysomething youngling wallowing in vanillacentric privilege, hear this African descended trans woman make this point about a simple concept even the GEICO caveman can understand.  

When a marginalized group tells you that a word is offensive to them, don't fracking use it, okay?

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