On Jake Shears & Cis Access to *that* Slur
Once again this evening we were treated to a cis gay man claiming some special access to use the T-word slur. In attempting to justify retweeting his tour party DJ who used that slur in a party promo, Jake Shears, lead singer of the band Scissor Sisters, not only claimed that trans friends taught him to use that word, but that it isn’t a slur at all.
Utter and absolute nonsense.
Shears neatly scrubbed his Twitter timeline of the exchange he had with me on the topic. I retweeted him but really don’t see a need for screenshots et cetera. This is less about him and more about that word.
We’ve talked about this. Time and time again.
That word is hurled at trans women, as an act of degendering, dehumanizing violence on a regular basis. If it belongs to anyone to reclaim as an identity, it belongs to trans women, first and foremost.
I’ve yet to find any trans women who are trying to reclaim it. Fight against it? Yes. Embrace it as an identity? Not at all.
I take my cues from trans women fighting for respect and safety every day in a culture that uses them as punch lines and worse, not from cis gay men, especially not ones who talk about parties run by cis men for cis men as being “tr***ytastic.”
Gender liminal as I may be, I have full access to cis privilege and I will use that privilege to stand in solidarity with, never opposition to, trans women who cannot seem to be afforded respect even from other members of the so-called LGBT community.
Cis people, it’s not your word. There are no access passes. There are no debates on whether this word, so closely linked to violence, so often weaponized itself, is a slur.
It’s a slur.
Stop using it.
Or be prepared to be called out. Whether you’re John Doe or Jake Shears, Mary Q. Public or Aisha Tyler, Random Passerby or Jeremy Renner.
It’s not your word. Do not think your privilege extends that far.