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Keeping Us on Our Toes

February 2, 2012

OneSTDV draws attention to a post on Feministing which ridicules the New York Times for referring to ‘transgenders’ instead of ‘transgendered persons.’ The item then quotes this passage from the GLAAD Media Reference Guide:

Transgender should be used as an adjective, not as a noun. Do not say, “Tony is a transgender,” or “The parade included many transgenders.” Instead say, “Tony is a transgender person,” or “The parade included many transgender people.”

According to the same source, ‘sex change,’ ‘pre-operative,’ ‘post-operative’ are also problematic terms—instead one should refer to a ‘transition.’

Referring to a sex change operation, or using terms such as pre- or post-operative, inaccurately suggests that one must have surgery in order to truly change one’s sex.

How is a normal person even supposed to know what this means? Apparently there’s a way to “truly change one’s sex” without undergoing a ‘sex change,’ but damned if I know what it is.

It’s astonishing that so many people think they can expect the general population to have detailed knowledge of the obscure, arbitrary, and fluctuating preferences of a tiny minority of people. And yet it’s totally common. Lots of members of ethnic minorities treat the slightest ignorance of their culture as equivalent to racism.

I suppose the real function of this posturing is to gain a better position by trying to keep everyone else feeling that they’re walking on eggshells.

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