RuPaul, Tranny and the word police

Let's break this down...RuPaul's Drag Race had a segment every episode where Ru's voice would be heard as a precursor to an on-screen message as "Oooh girl, you got She-Mail". There was a Female or She-Male picture guessing game on a recent episode. Both have been axed and removed from the show.

The gay village area of the internet went loopy, accusing trans people having no sense of humour and demanding it's reinstatement.

What. The. Actual. Fuck?

Assuming that most of RuPaul's Drag Race viewers live in the west, does a few words being axed from a TV show really matter in the grand scheme of things? "Oooh but I'll miss it and it was such a huge part of the show". Seriously, shut the fuck up dear. You'll forget about it next week when you're wittering on about your latest app hook up or Britney's tits.

There are people being fucking executed, maimed, abused, black mailed and humiliated for being LGBTQ. Right now. In 2014. Get some bloody perspective. There are 82, yes 82 countries where it is illegal to be a faggot, rug muncher, poof, dyke, sausage jockey, bean flicker, arse bandit yes, even tranny. Are a few words missing from a TV show really that important?
Who really gives a fuck? Current gay rights and wrongs appear more and more superficial. Do we simply forget our queer siblings in Russia because the Olympics are over? Do we even give a shit about what has happened in India, Nigeria and Uganda? Out of sight, out of mind. It is now legal for gays to marry in the UK, hurrah. Channel 4 celebrated by putting on the most clichéd musical ever imagined but at least it managed to tack on a bit about our siblings overseas who do not have the same luxury of queer freedom.

Trans folk are not victims but we must remember they are part of our family and a unrepresented minority. There isn't a major, white collar charitable body representing trans people so they have had to police things themselves. (I stopped supporting Stonewall as they dropped Transgender people from their remit. A charity that names itself after the Stonewall Inn in New York, a place that kick started the queer revolution whose patrons were drag queens and trans people. Go figure). Do you think there are marching around in moral victory because a TV game show dropped something that offended them? No you silly buggers. They are too busy living their lives and living in a world (even a privileged western one) that is yet to accept them fully. 

However, as much as I loathe to admit agreeing, in part, with Julie Burchill (who is turning into a mad transphobic bully), there is a harsh policing of words from an academic minority. I'm not going to call them out here but some (and remember this a minority) have successfully managed to bamboozle people into a 'our way or the highway' dogma by enforcing strict rules on what people say or are, harassing those who don't agree or conform. Hell, I've even been threatened with violence for using the term tranny. 

I've recently though long and hard about tagging myself the 'Tranny with a Fanny', worried that it causes offence and not wanting to upset my trans siblings. I've been told as a cis gendered woman, I have privilege (as a working class woman with no security or money, chronic depression and Hyper Mobility Syndrome, I'm hardly privileged...but it's not a minority contest) but I don't consider myself what the academic echelons call a cis gendered woman.
I have female genitals yet have a high level of testosterone in my blood. I have have one, maybe two periods a year.  I have one ovary, that's poly-cystic and I'm going to have a hysterectomy soon. In my day to day life wearing no makeup, I'm frequently mistaken for male.
What am I? Human. What are you?  Human (unless you're an exceptionally smart beast then bravo to you).
Yes I'm in a lucky position that my over the top performative transition is temporary but do we really need to keep putting ourselves into more boxes? Yes it makes life easier for people to compartmentalise themselves but really? Can we not all just be human in various states of gender, race, size, ability and sexuality?

As for calling myself Tranny with a Fanny, I won't be bullied into dropping it. Yes it's a cheeky, immature play on words but it comes from a place of love and celebration, not hate and the implications of words are about context. Trans people and academics who use long words to describe things, I come in peace. I'm an ally and support you but I'm an outsider, a queer and don't like rules.

Take this quote from the fierce Jayne County who does a HUGE amount of good for transgender people.

"I RESENT "Transfascists " telling me I can't use the word 'Tranny' . There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that word and who gave some uptight, self righteous , I wanna be normal , asshole Trans dictator the right to decide what words we can an cannot use!"

What about the fabulous Mzz Kimberley who had a show called 'Tranny Sings The Blues' and whose signature number is a cover of Peggy Lee's' I'm A Woman' as 'I'm a Tranny..... T.R.A.N.N.Y'. Should she be stopped by the language police? No. (Though check out this article by a trans bully about her performance)
Both transgender women have the prerogative to call themselves whatever they want to. As do I. 


I fully appreciate that people get sucked into queer theory and want to do the "right thing" but it's unfair to start demanding people who have been using words within queer communities (for a long, long time) what labels they can or can't use and who to be. If you wish to remain within the safe restrictive walls of hetro normative and gender binary conformity, well hurrah for you.
Queers need to retain some sense of punk rebelliousness otherwise we're doomed to suburbia in a semi detached with 2.4 kids and a hatchback. And a Labrador. Everyone should have the right to confirm but we also deserve the right of not wanting too. And no amount of word policing will change that.

Right...I'm off to host Englands official screening RuPaul's Drag Race...
x

P.S. Sign up to www.allout.org Signing a petition might not save the world but my god it's start.

P.P.S. Read Kate Bornstein's take on the word

P.P.P.S. I've a mad weekend, holler if you're in London. Drag Race tonight, performing at Thursgays tomorrow, guest host for  Kitsch Cabaret Saturday and hosting karaoke for rich drunk people on Sunday. 


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