Over at the Huffington Post, Parker Marie Molloy calls out cis, gay men for the overuse of the word "tranny," especially in performances, either in drag shows or in wider pop culture (including TV shows like How I Met Your Mother and Glee which feature everyone's favorite gay celebrity, Neil Patrick Harris).
I feel Molloy adequately destroys that same terribad (that's a technical term, you understand) argument we hear about misogynistic "jokes" and homophobic "jokes" and racist "jokes" and…
Oh, it's just a joke! But wait, why is it a joke? What makes it funny? Are "trannies" just inherently hilarious as a concept? Here's a fun fact that might take some air out of the sails of the pro-saying-"tranny" crowd: During the airing of fourth season of Project Runway (the season that Siriano appeared on), three trans women were brutally murdered in the United States. Ha, ha! Siriano is just so sassy and hilarious!
Oh, boy, wow… I mean, God knows I'm laughing. Somebody share the popcorn, because I just can't get over how fucking amusing visualising transphobia related murders is, can you? Here, have some jujubes, just try not to choke on them between your bellicose guffaws.
Tsk, tsk, some of the slur users are tempted to respond. Drag queens are often called the slur, too, you know! Yes, I do, and yes, I realise there is this confusion between transvestites (a term we shouldn't use anymore, because it's derogatory, please use cross-dressers for cis, straight men and call drag queens… oh, hey, drag queens) and transgender folks, but just because the slur is often used against drag queens who are being mistaken for or confused with trans women doesn't mean that drag queens get to suddenly claim an equal amount of oppression based on its use.
It's not "just a part of drag culture" and it's not a "term of endearment." And it isn't just a term used for trans folks (usually trans women), it is also often leveled at cisgender women as a misogynistic slur. It's used to suggest that certain traits or body shapes on women are "mannish" or masculine and therefore unattractive and unworthy of being considered beautiful. I cannot count the many times I have heard it leveled at Ann Coulter.
So, guys, really, you're great. I love my gay men friends. Y'all really are wonderful. And I do happen to like some of the social commentary in your drag shows and how it shines a light on the cracks in the heteronormative gender paradigm, but...
In conclusion, don't say "tranny." Just don't. It doesn't matter if you do drag, or if "it's not meant as a slur." If you are a cisgender gay man, that is not your word to use.
Agreed with Molloy. Just cut it out.