On Metblogs, a guest blogger decided to take in the breakout session for Transsexuals and Transgender people. The recap of the meeting has spawned a firestorm of angry words:
I went to the tranny session and out of all the minorities struggling to find their voice in the LGBTI movement, none is between a bigger rock and a harder place than trannies. Generally considered a liability – as in, “You Buffalo Bills and walking Thai surgery centers represent that slippery slope argument they keep talking about” - trannies are the black sheep of the LGBTI family. My group was stymied as to how to make their social and political challenges relevant to the movement without alienating the public and indirectly hurting the gay community as a whole. What I took away from this was: that’s how non-white gays and lesbians used to, and still do, feel!Being generous it seems just a poor choice of words by someone who didn't realize she was writing something that could be read by millions of people. Her ignorance of the feelings of the people she mentioned is evident, yet, giving her the benefit of the doubt, we can assume that her intent was pure in pointing out the marginalization of this group.
Yet, those poor choices caused a backlash. Autumn Sandeen at Pam's House Blend blasted back with her own post in response:
Autumn also left a comment on the original post by "Queerqueg" who does not give her real name on her posting at Metblogs that spurred another flame war that point out just how far we have to go to get our own house in order:
An LGBT writer who writes about trans people and hasn't first read the Associated Press Styleguide on the term transgender, GLAAD's Media Guide's Transgender Glossary, and the NLGJA Stylebook Supplement on transgender terminology shouldn't be writing about transgender people. It's easily knowable that tranny is considered a pejorative, defamatory term by many in the trans subcommunity of the LGBT community.
And, it's offensive in all circumstances to discuss transgender civil rights issues in the same paragraph where one references Silence Of The Lambs, Dressed To Kill, Psycho, or any other film where a transgender person is depicted as a serial killer. There is no room for discussion on that -- the LA.MetBlogs reporter's reference to a film's cross-dressing serial killer in the context of trans civil and marriage rights is just beyond the pale.
I'm Autumn Sandeen, the other new media reporter who attended the Transgender breakout session.
Your coverage of the Transgender breakout session is extremely offensive. To begin with, the word tranny is considered defamatory by GLAAD. Hey, I personally don't like being called a tranny -- you do not have my permission to refer to me as a tranny in the context of discussing trans people discussing transgender people's civil and marriage rights.
And, referencing to the Silence Of The Lambs' serial murderer when referencing the Transgender breakout session/transgender people in that room is just beyond the pale.
If I ever see you in a trans space again, expect me to ask you to leave. You're no longer welcome.
Immediately, the readers at Metblog rallied around Queerqueg and echoed a bias that I don't think she purposely was stating in her article, take this comment by "Suesue":