Language policing is madness. I do not use or identify with the words “tranny” or “shemale” outside of discussion, but I stand against policing language, culture and the identity of others.
(Pictured above is “Amber“, my years-old parody of outsiders who use words like “tranny” intending to hurt. Banning words precludes commentary, comedy, academic discussion and individually chosen and claimed identities. Banning words is burning books, one word at a time.)
Recently I wrote a series of Op-Ed pieces hopscotching from my response to criticism of my work with actor Jared Leto on his Academy Award winning portrayal of trans character “Rayon”, to my analysis of being misgendered by an Advocate.com freelance writer responding to my Op-Ed, to an overview of what I view as a new wave of thought police entering the world of online LGBT activism. Additionally, several friends, many of whom are transsexual women, wrote on the surrounding debate and related topics.
There may be some uncomfortable ideas expressed in these articles, but the language used is measured and calm, with no malice intended. This post is a response to and an overview of an ongoing situation, which I can reference when people ask me “what is all the fuss about?”
- In Defense of Jared Leto (Calpernia, for Advocate.com) – Trans lesbians hated my work with Oscar-winner Jared Leto on his transgender, attracted-to-men character “Rayon”. They love Jeffrey Tambor’s trans lesbian character on “Transparent”, though.
- Parker Marie Molloy’s Transphobic and Homophobic Slurs Don’t Matter, but Our Response Does (Calpernia, for Huffington Post) – Wherein I respond to being misgendered as a “drag queen” by Molloy, and being stonewalled by the Advocate.com editorial staff when I asked for redress.
- “I F*cking Hate @RuPaul” (Andrea James, for BoingBoing.net) – Andrea responds to anti-gay rhetoric from newcomers to the trans identity, exemplified by Molloy’s expressed hatred of drag pioneer and activist RuPaul.
- Burning Books, One Word at a Time: The New LGBT Thought Police (Calpernia, for Advocate Print Edition) – My response to the campaign by trans lesbians and Tumblr victims to abolish the identities of transgender and transsexual people who displease them.
- RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Danger of Overpolicing Language (Our Lady J, for Huffington Post) – Our Lady J calls for uncensored artistic freedom.
- Kate Bornstein on “Tranny” (Kate Bornstein, personal blog)
- Justin Vivian Bond “About the Word Tranny” (Justin Vivian Bond, for The Stranger)
- Why was transgender punk icon Jayne County banned from Facebook? (By DangerousMinds.net) – Punk icon and trans woman Janyne County banned for using the word “tranny”.
- Andrea James interviewed by Rebecca Juro, Radio Host with Opposing Viewpoint – After a lead in that leaves little doubt as to the host’s opposition, Rebecca Juro interviews Andrea on the tranny debate.
- TS Madison Hinton, Sex Worker and Entrepreneur, Lays Out Her Right to Identify as a “Tranny” or a “Shemale”, and How She Feels About Being Told What Words She Can Use by “Activists”
- The GLAAD Board’s “Tranny” Trouble (Andrea James, for Queerty) - The GLAAD board’s lack of diversity and focus on erasing drag and non-conforming trans culture.
(Summaries by me)
Click READ MORE for summaries, context and commentary on these articles by or about me, Andrea James, Our Lady J, Jayne County, The GLAAD board of directors and related topics.