Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace recently announced that her memoir will be released in November under the title Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout. As soon as she posted the announcement, Twitter blew up with opinions about this use of a slur that is frequently directed at transgender women. Many fellow transgender folk argue that using such a loaded word in the title of a highly publicized book only creates a situation where cisgender people feel they can use it without consequence. Others support Laura Jane Grace in reclaiming a word that has hurt her. Grace herself has implored her critics to wait until they’ve read the book before judging her usage of the word, saying that it’s a word she hates and the decision to use it in the title of her book was not taken lightly.
Before I continue, I’d like to say that I’ve been lucky enough, so far anyway, that this particular slur has not been directed at me. I came out as genderqueer very very recently, and I present just femme enough that most people I encounter tend to assume I’m just an androgynous looking cis woman. So while it hurts a lot that my gender identity is completely ignored in a mainstream context, at least I don’t have people screaming the T word at me as I walk down the street.
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