Two days ago, Sig Fig tweeted that she’d found the t-word in yet another site she frequents–namely, this one. I’ve never read Mighty Girl, but I thought I would hop over and see what was happening. I was a little surprised to see that Sig Fig had already commented (since we’ve talked before about how she’s too self-conscious to comment generally; she’s started several comments here and erased them, so we usually end up just talking about posts in person), and I thought I’d back her up.
Imagine my surprise when, rather than being defensive and sticking to her guns, Mighty Girl apologized and changed the language in the post.
Now, as you can see, the perma-link stayed the same, so the language persists, and several of the other comments seem totally comfortable using the term. And the reasoning behind using the term in the first place is still a bit problematic–does anyone really say “transvestite” anymore? And is it even relevant to the crushing of the iPhone, or is it just there for entertainment value?–but I have to say, this is the first time I’ve seen someone genuinely apologize for the t-word (or a similar slur) and make a clear effort to change the language:
I was keeping it in the title until I got more information, because among my friends, I haven’t encountered anyone who mentioned this. Changed it when five minutes of Twitter conversation convinced me it was fairly widely held viewpoint that I just hadn’t come across.
My intent wasn’t to upset anyone. I apologize, and I won’t be using the term again in writing or otherwise.
What’s frustrating to me is that people who genuinely don’t know why words like “tranny” are offensive (if those people exist, and I think they do, though I think some who claim ignorance know perfectly well that it’s offensive) had to have gotten the word somewhere. And that “somewhere” is the mainstream media and assholes like Christian Siriano. (Yes, I’m aware that some trans folks do self-identify this way, or use the term amongst themselves. But if you know enough trans people that you’ve heard support of the word, how have you never come across someone who finds it offensive?)
Note: my first comment in the Mighty Girl thread never made it out of moderation. It included several links that I thought (and still think) should be required reading if you don’t know why the t-word might be offensive.