Drew Barrymore says "Tranny" While Receiving GLAAD Award

... which I thought was really great.

But, GLAAD took the wind from my sails when I learned that they removed that portion from the speech she gave on April 17th while accepting their Vanguard Award. Why? Because she used the word "tranny", as confirmed by eyewitnesses.




Pay attention to how blatantly pro-trans (and LGBQ) every uncensored word was. I like GLAAD and all, but seriously - why are they SO into policing language?

I get really riled up about this sort of thing because it strikes me as part of an overall flawed belief system that justifies language censorship in order to "protect" minorities from oppression. But, as has been proved time and time again, this sort of thing only serves to further limit and harm the communities it claims to protect.

As an example, this sort of word fear rationalization reminds me A LOT of the 1992 Butler decision by which the Supreme Court of Canada wrote a radical feminist definition of obscenity into Canadian law. Vigorously championed by most feminists in Canada and the U.S., the Butler decision allowed Canadian customs to seize what it judged to contain "obscene" language.

The spring 1993 issue of Feminist Bookstore News described the impact of its first year:

"The Butler decision has been used...only to seize lesbian, gay and feminist material."

The most "obscene" indeed!

The two primary targets were the feminist-lesbian bookstores – the Glad Day Bookstore in Toronto and Little Sisters in Vancouver. The funny thing being that even then radical feminists who were absolutely terrified of "oppressive language" adamantly defended the Butler decision.

Apparently lesbian bookstores were acceptable casualties in the war against words.

So here's a similar modern-day example, where GLAAD has chosen to waste their limited time, energy, and resources fighting a war against a word that's being utilized in an empowering context (and, in turn, a pro-trans reference & acknowledgement in her speech) - all to champion an ideology that only serve to hurt our community and much-needed freedom in the end.

The thing is, like many words with a charged history it depends on the context and the intent of the speaker. In this case, very blatantly positive. On the other hand, when people use "tranny" as an insult, it is derogatory and offensive. Context.

Instead of taking lessons of fear and censorship from GLAAD, I'll instead stick with the concepts of free speech, openness, reducing fear and the logic of taking ammunition from people perpetuating transphobia and cissexism; including language. The only power the word "tranny" will have over me is from a positive, empowering place.

This reminds me a lot of the book 1984, where in the final stage of controlling language there were still dissenters. Dissenters could be called hate-filled and a danger to society. Their objections could become hate crimes punishable by law.

In 1984, this dissent was called "crimethink." We call it hate speech.

The villain of 1984 proclaims,

"The whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought.... The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect."

But as feminist Wendy McElroy puts it,

"It is time to reclaim the richness of the English language ... verb by verb, adjective by adjective. PC advocates must recognize that syllables are not vessels of evil, words should not be the focus of law and disagreement is no crime."

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