Tranny (slang)

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Tranny is a slang term used chiefly to describe people who are transgender (particularly transfeminine), transsexual, wearing drag, transvestites, or cross-dressers. The term is considered a slur by some transgender activists, such as Roz Kaveney.[1] The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) state that the term is "usually considered offensive and/or defamatory" by members of the transgender community.[2] However, it is also frequently used in some portions of the trans and drag performer community.[3] The term remains controversial,[4] and several trans activists and drag queens such as RuPaul, Justin Vivian Bond, Kate Bornstein, and Lady Bunny have advocated for use of the term.[5] When asked whether he is bothered by the word “tranny,” drag queen RuPaul responded by saying, “No! I love the word tranny.”[6]

Kate Bornstein claims the word was originally used in the Sydney, Australia by trans people and drag queens to unite under an umbrella term.[7] Cristin Williams reviewed historic uses of the term and found the first published instance in 1983, originating among gay men, and expressed doubt that it originated many years prior to this.[8]


  1. ^ Kaveney, Roz (2010-06-30). "Why trans is in but tranny is out". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-05-18. 
  2. ^ "GLAAD's Transgender Resources". Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  3. ^ Bass, Lance (23 December 2011). "Lance Bass Apologizes For Using The Word 'Tranny'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  4. ^ Villarreal, Daniel (20 June 2011). "Let’s Learn The Nine Anti-Trans Slurs We Should All Avoid". Queerty / The Leading Gay and Lesbian News and Entertainment Site. Retrieved 18 May 2017.  see comments
  5. ^ Lowder, J. Bryan (30 May 2014). "Is “Tranny” Always a Slur?". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  6. ^ Nichols, James (2014-05-22). "RuPaul Responds To Controversy Over The Word 'Tranny'". The HuffingtonPost. Retrieved 2017-05-18. 
  7. ^ Bornstein, Kate. "Who You Calling A Tranny?". Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Williams, Cristan (2014-04-28), Tranny: An Evidence-Based Review, The TransAdvocate, retrieved 2017-05-18