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What is a Tranny and why you shouldn’t say the word?

Amanda Valentine Dela Cruz
This post was last updated on .

Tranny has been a word used colloquially in the mid 20th century. It may be something of normalcy in certain cultures but in today’s world, one must not use it lightly. Today, you’re going to learn about it and why this word has become offensive.

Please know that the words that will be used here are not to offend or target a group of individuals. This guide was created for educational purposes and to define tranny with everything that’s encompassing the word.

What is a tranny?

The word was not coined to be offensive. It originated in the mid 20th century and was used as an umbrella term for transgender individuals and transvestites (crossdressers). It’s even advocated to be used by trans activists such as Kate Bornstein and Justin Vivian Bond.

Unlike Shemale which pertains to transgender women exclusively, it is a more inclusive word that goes beyond just 1 spectrum.

The media’s way that defined it negatively

It wasn’t originally meant to be offensive. Because of the mainstream media’s sense of humor back in the day, the word tranny suddenly became a joke or an insult.

In the past, the media didn’t respect transgender women. It painted them as traps who only exist to fool men. Furthermore, the remorse that most male characters have shown after finding out that they’ve had sex with a tranny became the archetype of how transgender women should be repelled.

angry tranny

The majority of trannies have been represented by crossdressers and transvestites in the showbiz industry before.

This gave the masses the wrong idea of the world. And that transgender people and crossdressers are one and the same.

Trannies were often portrayed in a comical or disrespectful way. This is why a lot of transgender people nowadays don’t want to associate themselves with the word.

How it was supposed to be

The intentions of shortening the words transvestite and transgender into a tranny were not malicious.

It was supposed to be an inclusive term that represented several spectrums to have a common ground.

sad tranny

The word itself does not sound negative. It’s not something that sounds vexing or irritating from the get-go.

However, its history and use were tainted by the media and its transphobic followers.

What the word mean for transgender people?

Nowadays, some transgender and transvestite people still utilize the word tranny as a term of endearment.

Its use within the community doesn’t equate to it being used as a slur.

Tranny’s use is only appropriate if it’s within the exclusivity of the community (similar to how the N-word is used).

a Tranny

However, a lot of transgender women are offended by the word Tranny. The reason being is because they don’t want to feel like they’re being deemed as crossdressers.

Gender dysphoria varies in levels so it’s best not to use this word to address trans people even if you’re a transgender individual as well.

Other terms related to the word tranny

Since it is considered an offensive word nowadays, it also has its counterparts. In this section, you’re going to find out some of the words that you must not use lightly.

Shemale

The word shemale is a mix of the two words she and male. It pertains to transgender women who are working in the porn industry.

It’s not something that’s as popular as the word tranny back in the day. However, it’s more distinct and is easily recognizable by search engines.

Tranny has more content written around it. But the word shemale is more precise if you’re looking for porn content featuring transgender women.

a Shemale

Moreover, it’s mainly used to describe western transgender women.

The usage of the word shemale should only be done in private if you’re looking for adult content.

Don’t use this word when talking to transgender women because you will offend them. However, most transgender women who don’t speak fluent English are more lenient with it.

Ladyboy

The word ladyboy is the Asian counterpart of the word shemale. However, it is not a word that’s exclusively referring to a transgender woman who’s working in the adult industry.

Ladyboy is widely used colloquially most especially in Thailand. Most locals don’t find the word offensive.

If you’re planning to date an Asian transgender woman, don’t address her as an Asian ladyboy. If she says that she has no problem with the word, educate her without being condescending. Tell her why she should not call herself a ladyboy.

a ladyboy

Explain that in the west, ladyboys refer to transgender women who work in the adult industry. It’s inappropriate to define her.

The reason why the word ladyboy is utilized by a lot of dating websites is that English is not the first language of most Asian transgender women. Ladyboy is a more popular term for them and is what will get them to the door in finding a life partner.

Nowadays, a lot of transgender women from Asia still don’t know the meaning of transgender women. A lot of them are still comfortable calling themselves ladyboys.

However, the language barrier must not take the privilege of finding a soulmate away from them. It’s also why a trans dating site like My Ladyboy Date exists.

Other terms that you could look up are:

The person

Tranny is an umbrella term and is something that you shouldn’t use anymore. Here are the nuances between the different types of “trannies”.

Crossdressers or transvestites

Crossdressers are what hugely represent the tranny’s in today’s mainstream media. Drag queens and Drag Kings are everywhere and they have quite a huge following.

Rupaul’s Drag Race has paved the way for them to reach a bigger number of following. Many crossdressers are thriving in the entertainment industry.

a Crossdressers

Crossdressers are cisgender men or cisgender women. They live their lives regularly based on their assigned gender at birth. They only dress up and transform whenever they find the need to.

A drag queen does not live as a woman 24/7. He is not one and the same with a transgender woman even if he starts dressing up for a brief moment.

Transgender man

A transgender man is part of the tranny umbrella as well. He’s assigned female at birth and is now living as a man 24/7.

a Transgender Man

It’s very rare to see a transgender man being represented in the mainstream media.

However, one particular transgender man is making waves in the modeling industry and his name is Laith Ashley.

Transgender woman

Transgender women are always present in the media but not usually for entertainment purposes.

A lot of documentaries are devoted to their lives and they’re mostly seen in the news fighting for transgender rights. They are mostly portrayed as victims of discrimination and murder.

a Transgender Woman

However, this is gradually becoming less of the norm. Transgender women are slowly but surely penetrating the entertainment industry. Notable names of transgender women in the showbiz industry are:

  • Laverne Cox
  • Caitlyn Jenner
  • Nong Poy
  • Trace Lysette
  • Teddy Quinlivan
  • and more

Some even hold high positions and are highly respected in society like:

  • Geraldine Roman
  • Lakshmi Narayan Tripathi
  • Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip
  • and more

If this guide has helped you in any way, don’t hesitate to share it on your timeline.

Posted in Transgender news Tagged #

About the author

Amanda Valentine Dela Cruz
Just a random trans woman playing with makeup and skincare. Loves bacon and the operating table. I'm also the author of the dating guide book Dating Transgender Women for Gentlemen. Know more -> dtwfgbook.com

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2 thoughts on “What is a Tranny and why you shouldn’t say the word?

  1. I’m 68 and have been wanting to be with a TS women all my life. I’m nervous and afraid. I need someone small, soft and wanting to teach me what I’ve yearn for all my life. What is the best and safest way for me to start my new life?

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