Inter-University LGBT Network highlights concern over usage of the term, “tranny” and transphobia

The Inter-University LGBT Network published a statement on its concern over with the recent controversy over the use of the term “tranny” and transphobia in Singapore.

The issue came up after a Singaporean blogger, Xiaxue went on a same plane with Korean boy band, Monsta X.

She tweeted on her account saying that she went to Google who the boys are.

"I genuinely thought they are a group of 'trannies'," she wrote.

tranny

The Inter-University LGBT Network then said that as a network of groups concerned with fostering a safer and more inclusive Singapore for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) students and youth, it is concerned with the recent controversy over the use of the term “tranny” and transphobia in Singapore.

The network said that it is heartened to note that Xiaxue has affirmed her commitment as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and may not have intended to contribute to transphobia in using the term.

"However, the term “tranny” is usually understood by many transgender people as a dehumanising slur and we urge allies to err on the side of caution and compassion to avoid using such a term," it said.

The Network said that while there remains an ongoing debate over whether the use of the word “tranny” is offensive within the transgender community, these slurs are a part of a larger phenomena of transphobic violence and discrimination that continue to seriously affect transgender people in Singapore.

According to a 2012 study by Oogachaga, a local LGBTQ+ counselling organisation, 95% of transgender women have experienced abuse and discrimination because of their gender identity, including verbal harassment from being called such offensive slurs.

Many also are overwhelmingly affected by homelessness and employment discrimination, as noted by transgender activist and founder of The T Project, Ms June Chua, who runs a shelter for homeless transgender people.

As a first step to fostering a safer society for transgender people, The Inter-University LGBT Network hopes that Xiaxue and other allies will stand by their commitment to eliminating transphobia by avoiding the use of offensive slurs that dehumanise and degrade transgender individuals.

It noted that more can also be done, such as by donating to or volunteering with community organisations that serve the transgender community, including The T Project, Project X and Oogachaga.

"We also invite concerned allies to reach out and work together with us to build a more inclusive society for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression," it said.

The Inter-University LGBT Network is a network for organisations in Singapore universities to collaborate in fostering safer and more inclusive school communities for everyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

This entry was posted in Civil Society, LGBT.