On “Transvestite” and “Transsexual”

I hate these words. The first sounds like a pathology, like some medical term for a psychological disorder, which makes sense because it used to be one. It’s also cissexist, since it’s rarely applied to trans men and usually just gets stuck to glammed-up guys.

Transsexual in particular is immensely misleading! It makes it seem like being trans is all about SEX, like, copulation, because that’s the root of the word–SEX.  Meeting this word when I was younger fucked up my idea of who I was for years. I thought being trans (which I knew I was) also made me a pervert, some kind of bizarre orgasm-seeking creature obsessed with being prettified. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. BEING TRANS IS ABOUT GENDER DYSPHORIA (for me) and subconscious gender and brain maps and the relationship I have with my body and the relationship my body has to itself. None of that is about orgasms. No more transsexual, please. It creates unnecessary ambiguity about the person taking the label, and can mislead hapless cishetero folks into stigmatizing us.

Fuck these words. Get them out of the lexicon.

Thank you and have a nice year.

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