Difference between tranny and transsexual

Amazingatheist wrote on his blog yesterday, and the whole “tranny” situation came up. I told him that there are people who do identify as crossdresser, shemale, tranny; and some of them tend to be in sexual situations. I know quite a number of them. Some on a personal level, some whom i just know of. Reason is because you tend to find crossdressers misrepresenting transsexualism. They, as well as, what i can only assume, most people (At least from my experience) tend to think they’re interchangeable terms. Some crossdressers are actually gender fluid or gender queer. Most, from what i’ve found, tend to just be cisgender heterosexual males who like to dress up. And some are really good at it.

But let’s take a step back. I’m throwing around so many terms right now. For a better understanding of gender expression, gender identity, sexuality, etc, check out this:

And that’s just a good starting point. Believe me, a lot of people throw around a lot of terms that even i have a hard time understanding. Not understanding in that someone can be themselves. Because there’s just one word for that (human). But just the very specific and in depth term that explains them. I can’t even name all of them. But they’re out there. (An example would be pansexual. A fairly easy to understand term, and i would more appropriately identify as this for my sexuality, but i prefer to just say “bisexual”).

So what’s the difference between a tranny and a transsexual then. Well, if the video didn’t explain it well enough, or if your memory isn’t up to snuff, allow me to reiterate. Transvestite (Which is the non-abbreviated word) is a gender expression. Our culture has assigned a certain gender to a certain style of wearing clothes, and that’s all that is. Our culture saying that you’re currently expressing as female. Doesn’t mean you’re gay (Like i said before, most of them seem to be heterosexual cisgender males), doesn’t mean you’re any less masculine.. I’d actually say a man who can express himself that way and be comfortable is far more masculine.. no.. a far better human being then those who can’t. But i digress.

A transsexual is someone like myself, who feels like a woman.. And i really have to say that again and rephrase it a little. Our mind is that of a female, we want to live like a female, we want to be called a female. Because if we don’t, we’ll feel really sad. Depressed.. Dysphoria, it’s more commonly referred to as. Although i haven’t read too much research on transsexuals which explain dysphoria in a comprehensive way, i can definitely vouch in on that we feel incredible, devastating  horrible depression, by sometimes just someone calling us a “man”. Sometimes, it can be that simple to trigger someone who’s in my position (That is.. hasn’t even started hormonal treatment yet).
Does this mean we’re suffering from a mental illness? Or does it mean that, if you take a cisgender person, and force them to live as the opposite sex, they’ll get depressed? Because, you know, it’s kind of a downer! I know of people who has done social experiments like that, and they’ve all expressed similar depression that a transsexual goes through.

Having to live in a gender that you don’t feel comfortable, that you don’t feel like yourself, that you don’t feel happy in, makes you depressed as all hell. And of course, i’m just referring to cisgender people (Which, by the way, is the opposite of a transsexual, more or less.. Not that you should make something like that black and white, but for what i’m writing here, just to not confuse people more than i already have).

That’s the difference between them two. A tranny can be many things, in terms of gender expression and what not, while a transsexual needs to be the opposite (Again.. To not confuse) sex of what they were born with. A tranny can be someone who dresses as a woman (And sometimes a woman dressing as a man) for sexual pleasure, a tranny can be someone who just likes gender-bending, a tranny can be someone who likes to temporary pretend to be a woman. Does that mean they make a mockery out of transsexuals? No, not that i feel at least. Does it cause a lot of confusion, in a culture that can’t even get homosexuals straight (Pardon the pun). Yes.
Bottom line is that you shouldn’t call a transsexual a tranny, because she/he will most likely get offended (I know i get offended at it), because it’s not what we are. At all. And it undermines our struggle, our pain, our suffering, by an order of magnitude. It’s safer to not use the term at all, unless instructed otherwise. Air on the side of respect. You know.. he, she, or if you’re a Swede, say “hen” (Which i think should become a common non-derogatory genderless term to refer to someone.. But i digress).

So to sum up. Don’t be an asshole, learn about groups of people. Ask us questions. I’m always open to an open mind. But most of all, respect people. It’s not that hard. Don’t assume, don’t use your gut reaction and don’t hate for no reason. Be open.. Yeah.. I’ve rambled long enough. Happy camping, everyone.

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About Get a Grip

Code monkey. Opinionated.

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