If you play online multiplayer games like World of Warcraft or Dota 2, you’ll probably have experienced the “tradition” of “tranny” as a character.
While this can be a common term to describe trans people, it can also be viewed as an insult, as people will often mock, belittle, and demean people based on their gender identity.
When trans people play these online games, they are often called “tras,” which is a derogatory term for people of the gender they were assigned at birth.
As a result, they can be viewed in some quarters as a “gatekeeper,” or an extra burden on a community, which is why many trans people avoid using the term.
In a recent article, the New York Times spoke to trans people who’ve struggled with the word “trac,” explaining that while they often understand the term as a derogatory slur, it still hurts their feelings.
“I understand it’s derogatory to refer to a trans person in a derogatory way,” said Caitlin Olson, an editor for The Atlantic.
“I don’t understand why people would do it.
It just doesn’t feel right.
It’s not fair.”
Olson added that it’s “not the time for a trans woman to be a gatekeeper, but it’s a time to stop using the word in a condescending way.”
According to the Atlantic, “trannies” are often viewed as a gate to entry for trans people.
“Tranny” is used in games to refer only to people who are male or female, and in many instances, “trans” is defined by a specific label, such as “transvestite.”
According to The Atlantic, when “trannie” is the only term used in a game to describe a trans character, the game may make assumptions about gender identity and sexual orientation.
The article goes on to explain that “traboy,” “trand,” and “trant” are other terms for people who identify as trans.
It also notes that these terms can have a negative connotation.
“In some ways, tranny is used to make trans people feel as if they are being excluded from certain spaces and communities,” Olson said.
“If you’re a tranny and you’re trying to be accepted in a group, it’s often not helpful to be called a trannie, because that’s not how you’re supposed to feel.
That’s not the way trans people are supposed to be treated.
The only way to be respected and be seen is to be yourself, which can be hard when you’re being ridiculed.”
In addition to the stigma associated with the term “tran,” there are also instances of transphobia and harassment in online communities.
While it’s not uncommon for trans women to encounter this kind of abuse, trans people of color are also disproportionately impacted.
In a survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 61% of black trans people reported experiencing harassment, while 23% of trans white trans people experienced harassment.
According to The New York Daily News, in 2015, one out of four trans people surveyed had experienced physical or sexual violence.
In addition, the National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that more than one in five transgender people surveyed reported experiencing stalking or harassment.
In a survey by the Center for American Progress, nearly two in three trans people said they had experienced verbal or physical harassment.
“It’s so common for trans folks to be marginalized, and we’re not really included in that,” Olson explained.
“We don’t get to have those conversations.”
Olsson also noted that in some cases, these negative experiences can lead to physical harm.
“There’s a lot of people who do not feel comfortable sharing their story because they fear the consequences,” she said.
“We have to be brave enough to tell our stories, and that’s why I think that we have to make ourselves visible.
We have to show up.”
The National Center on Transgender Equality recently published a report titled “A New Year’s Resolution for Trans People: Helping Trans People, Their Families, and Friends,” which included advice for trans- and non-binary people who want to start their own advocacy organizations.
The organization also released a guide on how to “stop being the gatekeeper,” a goal Olson and her partner are hoping to achieve.