Standing up for tranny

6.12.2007

By Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Hot on the high heels of America's faggot-calling frenzy, I recently received a press release from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation 86-ing the word tranny. And she-male. It seems that GLAAD is worried about how we in the media will describe the second-to-youngest Arquette sibling, who's starring in a documentary about her transition from male to female.

I'm all for clarification, but I'd wager that Alexis Arquette would be happy with any press mention that even just approximated her name. This is a person who began her gender journey in nightclubs under the name Eva Destruction. While I haven't seen the film, I've met her a few times over the years, and she's been as demure as a raging hard-on in panty hose'sometimes literally.

So why will GLAAD slap my limp wrist for calling Alexis a 'cock in a frock'? Because, once again, the most colorfully feathered among us are expected to take a backseat to the politest common denominator. GLAAD now defines transgender as 'an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.' As one who prefers to sing in the rain rather than cower under umbrella terms, I'm gonna stand up for all the gender fuckers I count among my friends.

During my years as a drag queen I was fortunate enough to meet many 'transgender persons' of all shapes, sizes, and inches. I've met those proud to show off their black-market hormonal breast-lettes, and those whose tranny-chaser boyfriends (sorry, 'transgender pursuers') paid for sex-reassignment surgery as a Christmas present. And while many of these transgender persons loved their manginas and loathed their twig and berries, many of the other skirt steaks I've called my friends are proud to make their man-clit their calling card. Some of them even like to, gasp, get their dick sucked. And even to fuck with it. Pretending that your thrusting 10-inch dick is a gender expression of a vagina takes more acting chops than those of all the Arquettes thrown together. Plus a few Baldwins. Clearly there's more to the definition of transgender than simply what color your parents didn't paint your nursery.

I'm not denying that many male-to-female transgender persons prefer the term transgender to sock shocker. And should they request to be referred to thusly, I'll oblige with a curtsy. I've never understood the need to impose labels on groups instead of simply asking a person how they wish to be defined. Or not defined, as some of us might prefer.

I do, of course, have immense empathy for the church marm-y transgender folk like those portrayed in Transamerica. I'm sure they weep into their floral handkerchiefs each time they catch a Jerry Springer episode featuring a 300-pound she-male flashing his/her untucked thong at the studio audience. But I would hope that after their struggles with differences they too realize not all men with girly sides feel trapped in the wrong body. They feel free to be anybody. Or everybody. They are the very definition of 'and/or.'
The obvious problem with GLAAD's assignment of one term for such a wide range of gender expression is that, well, there's a wide range of gender expression. If, as according to GLAAD, transgender persons were misassigned their gender by their parents and doctors when they were born, why would GLAAD presume the right to assign them all a new one?

At least at birth there were two to choose from.

www.iamnotmyselfthesedays.com

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