For both uses of trans, is it OK to use the term “tranny”?
"You’re allowed to say any word, sure," Monika says. "But it’s probably ill-advised to skip down the street dropping the 'T' all day. Not only are you likely to ruin someone’s day, but you’ll likely sound like a clueless relic. So, unless you want to be a wanker, hold off on the 'T-word'... unless you’re a trans woman. It’s sort of 'our word.'”
Same goes for “transvestite.” It’s archaic, and should be left to the script of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
“Back in the '90s," Monika says, "there were these insufferably fine distinctions drawn between different types of transgender and gender-nonconforming folks. 'Transvestite' was a diagnosis from the DSM IV codes for mental illness -- that has since been removed -- used to describe folks who fetishized cross-dressing. If you identify as a man, and wearing lingerie while jerking off sounds like an ideal Sunday activity, then at that time you would have been considered a transvestite. These distinctions have largely fallen out of use, or fashion, or whatever. No one is really using this term anymore."
Sex, sexuality, and gender are a larger ingredient to the recipe of a society. And human rights are an integral part of an ethical nation -- but it all starts with our ability to communicate with each other. Asking questions, showing compassion, and seeking understanding: this is how we elevate our culture to a better place.