Why You Shouldn’t Use The Word Tranny (part 2).

Sometimes I’m not the most eloquent person in the world.  And given that that guy responded several more times, and called me things like a harpie and said I thought I was the Queen of Sheba, let’s try this again.

I don’t think that this guy will get it.  But if there is someone out there who stops by and listens to what I have to say, if this blog helps just one person, if this makes the world a little bit brighter, I will definitely keep writing. I  refuse to be silenced.

Dear people of the world, please do not use the word tranny.  Me asking you to stop using a hate word should just be enough.  Me asking you to be respectful of who I am should be enough.  Sadly, it isn’t.  And this is another reason I feel I identify so much with feminists.  Yes, I was born a girl, and I think that fits in, but mostly, I feel that a lot of our struggles are the same.  You see, long before trans* people were fighting for our rights to be seen as human, many people thought that women were less than human, also.

Women weren’t even given the right to vote until 1920 in America.  Land of the free, are we really? They were told to shut up.  Jokes like get back to the kitchen and make me a sandwich are STILL being told all of the time.  They were told that their opinions and voices didn’t mater, that they weren’t educated enough, or smart enough, or important enough.

They were told they are less than human.

Which is exactly what you do when you call someone a tranny, or any other hate word.  You are telling me that I am less than human, less than worthy of my right to be the person I am.  You are telling me that I don’t matter.  Me asking you to stop saying those things is not me being rude.  It is saying stop telling me I’m not human.

When I was in high school, I tried to kill myself.  This was several years before I came out. There was one morning in particular. I was getting ready for school.  I was in the shower, and I just laid down and let the water wash over me. I thought about every bad word people had said to me.  I had been called a dyke, and a freak, and a year before a kid actually hit me because he thought I was a lesbian.  Every word that someone had said to me that could be used to destroy someone echoed.  That’s enough to make anyone drown, or want to drown themselves in the shower, at fifteen years old.

Thankfully, I didn’t.  But it started years before I was fourteen when that kid hit me and my Dad had to be called into the school.  I was so embarassed because I knew I was different, and I felt like, if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have had kids hit me.  But it didn’t start with the kid hitting me.  In first grade, I dressed masculine.  I always have unless I was forced not to, or trying to live a lie.  People didn’t want to be my friend.  People called me Patricia the Boy.  I wasn’t upset that people were calling me a boy. I felt like a boy.  I was upset that people treated my like crap.  People used words to make me feel less than human.

And it continued for a good seven years before someone hit me.  And even then, it continued. In ninth grade, I was kicked out of my gym class for being a homo. I was out as bi to a few friends.  I also had severe gender dysphoria going on and couldn’t really word that.  So I changed in the bathroom.  Instead of dealing with the girls in my class who had a problem with me, the solution was for me to move gym classes.  Again, that sent the message that I was the one with the problem.

Because this says it more eloquently than I could, and if this is what you are going to take away from today, let it be this:   “Turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step for justifying violence against that person.”- Jean Kilbourne.

That is what words like tranny do.  They turn me into a thing.  First you are calling me a boy, or a dyke, then you are hitting me.  If people hadn’t stepped in, I wonder if the kid would have hit me more than once.  So, please, stop turning me into a thing.  Stop tolerating hate because it often does lead to violence, and that can make anyone drown.

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