Apr 7, 2004

Semantics Rant

Trannyfags are female-to-male (FTM) transgender people who identify as fags and lust after, love, and fuck other guys. Those other guys could be FTMs or "bio men." "Bio men" is shorthand for "biological men," men who were assigned a male gender at birth, as opposed to men who were assigned a female gender at birth. Lots of folks, including me, find the term bio men, while useful, also problematic, since it values a biological determinist model of gender, i.e., you are what your genitals and your birth certificate say you are. Many prefer to use the term non-transgender men to identify those boys who got blue hats and booties in the maternity ward.

This quote is from the most recent Tristan Taormino column in the Village Voice. It bugs me, but not because I have a problem with transgender individuals. What I object to is the term "non-transgender men" being used to describe men who are born with the physical attributes of men. In other words, these guys are biological men. This seems like a perfectly acceptable handle to me, and one that is particularly convenient, as it can even be shortened to "bio men." No, I oppose using a term such as "non-transgender men" to define the majority as opposed to the minority. Most men are not transgendered, so it's simply illogical--bizarre, even--to describe them as not the minority. The minority, in this case female-to-male transgender people, should accept the fact that they are a minority. Minority does not necessarily (and certainly should not) equal stigma. But defining the majority as not-the-minority is an example of political correctness taken too far. It's pompous, self-important, and illogical.