Transgenderingeds, the Title

10 Feb

*I mention terms here that may offend some

How about a semi-serious moment on the blog title? I chose “Transgenderingeds” because (1) cisgender people have no idea what to call trans people, and that’s probably because (2) trans people can’t decide what to call trans people. No one person can speak for all, so while we each have our preferred monikers, there’s no agreed upon term for everyone. The most agreed upon is transgender, an umbrella term for a bunch of gender transgressive stuff. It’s an adjective, just like other popular terms. So, one can’t really be a transgender (noun), be transgendering (verb), and a pod of trans people wouldn’t be called transgenders (plural noun). Transgendered is a little more tricky, but not a preferred term, either. But wait, you say, it’s can be an adjective. And, sometimes in news story it’s used as an adjective, but it’s preferable to call someone a transgender person rather than a transgendered person in much the same way as we don’t call people of color colored. Plus, if it’s really an adjective, why conjugate it like a verb? Veeerrrrrrrrrb.

All this is confusing, right? Here’s the long and the short:

Good: Bob is a transgender person.

Bad: Bob is transgendered. Bob is transgendering. Bob is one of those transgenders. Bob is a transgender.

A nice rule of thumb is to substitute something we hear more often, like person of color, or black. Bob is a person of color? Ok. Bob blacked, is one of those blacks, or is a black? No. If it sounds like something most folks realized was inappropriate by about, oh, 1965 or so? Probably shouldn’t be saying it.

So, transgenderingeds makes no sense, and that’s why I used it. Even individually, though, the terms make little sense. The idea was to shine some light on that.

I think it’s important to note that making a mistake with the above terms will probably do little more than annoy a trans person. Unless you’re a feminism prof, then we’ll just be confused. True story, I don’t know an on-campus professor in the feminism department who knows not to call people transgendered.

Terms that might not annoy, but actually piss off a trans person– she-male, he-she, shim, tranny, fag, homo, and so on. Really, I hope I didn’t need to say that.

The caveat to all of this is to call people what they want. If Bob likes being referred to as a banana packing trans man stud? Call him that. Or ask if you can call him banana for short. The above is just a FYI for default terms. /PSA

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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Uncategorized


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