Neil Patrick Harris | News | Transgender

Neil Patrick Harris Under Fire for 'Tranny' Slur on Morning Show: VIDEO


Neil Patrick Harris apologized today for using the word "tranny" on Live with Regis and Kelly this week.

Tweeted Harris: "Truly sorry for saying the word 'tranny' on Live this week. Twice! Should have been more thoughtful. Didn't at all mean to offend."


Harris, with Kelly Ripa had inhaled from a canister of Sulfur Hexafluoride, a chemical gas that makes your voice deep, and said, "I've never sounded more like a tranny in my life" after doing an imitation of serial killer Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.

The moment caught the attention of trans bloggers who rightfully condemned the comparison, as well as Dan Savage, who was recently glitterbombed by trans activists who said they were angry about, among other things, his use of the word "tranny". Savage's response to the NPH incident is here.

GLAAD said it is reaching out to Harris about the incident:

It’s heartening to see a celebrity of Harris’ stature recognize and apologize for using the slur in such a timely manner, and for greater media attention being paid to its use.  Many people do not realize that the word "tr*nny" is one of the most hurtful and dehumanizing slurs that transgender people hear.  Most transgender people associate that word with personal experiences of violence, hatred and derision.

GLAAD is reaching out to Mr. Harris about the incident.

Clip is posted, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. Seriously, you'd have to be a moron not to know that "tranny" is an offensive slur. The fact that a gay person used it on national television only increases his moron quotient.

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Dec 2, 2011 1:02:12 PM

  2. His apology won't be enough for them. They'll demand he apologize for being "cisgendered male" -- which as we all know is the worst thing in the world. Only the transgendered count. Isn't that right folks?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 2, 2011 1:04:09 PM

  3. He said it. He didn't mean it. He apologized. Andy, is it necessary for us to attack our own? Leave NPH alone. JMG wasted a whole blog entry on this today as well. Go attack our real enemies, because this kind of thing always leads to fighting within the community, which we cannot afford.

    Posted by: Jerry | Dec 2, 2011 1:04:45 PM

    And I'm NOT going to apologize for typing that word because I am NOT referring to a transgender person when I use TRANNY. I'm using it as a term of endearment for someone who exhibits a high level of fierceness.... Tranny.

    Posted by: David | Dec 2, 2011 1:05:30 PM

  5. Oh, seriously? If some right wing a-hole had said it, I could understand the repercussions. But NPH? What is the big deal? GLAAD needs to get a life.

    Posted by: Walt | Dec 2, 2011 1:06:13 PM

  6. I thought this referred to "transvestite," not "transsexual"...

    Posted by: JSH | Dec 2, 2011 1:07:12 PM

  7. Lord - can't we just RELAX for one minute? No malice was intended. Jeez. We run the risk of taking ourselves waaaaay too seriously with this kind of "reaction."

    Posted by: Steve | Dec 2, 2011 1:14:09 PM

  8. It's times like this I like to revisit the wisdom of RuPaul, who said something to the effect of, "if you're offended by a word, you've got bigger problems than just the word itself."

    Posted by: Brian | Dec 2, 2011 1:19:29 PM

  9. Transvestite

    Is the first word OK?

    Posted by: David in NYC | Dec 2, 2011 1:24:10 PM


    Now the thought police is going after us!

    Posted by: Jose S. | Dec 2, 2011 1:24:29 PM

  11. Face it: we're all trannies.

    Posted by: matt | Dec 2, 2011 1:25:09 PM

  12. Anybody so disconnected from reality as to think "tr*nny" is a term of "endearment" ought to be in therapy. As for GLAAD, it should disband. That group has become little more than a nappy for covering celebrity asses!

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Dec 2, 2011 1:25:18 PM

  13. nm. googled it. never knew the difference between the three.

    Posted by: David in NYC | Dec 2, 2011 1:25:34 PM

  14. You are a tranny who looks like a hot mess, and not in a good way. You're a tickety tack tranny hot mess out of control super tranny from Transylvania who is not apologizing for it.

    Posted by: endo | Dec 2, 2011 1:25:42 PM

  15. it is a big deal and i commend Neil for recognizing that. the word tranny is a double edged sword in the LGBTQ community and that's the problem with using it. yes you may think you're "tranny fierce" but the majority of the time this term is used is to demean a person in a state of "unfabulousness." it is used because people don't respect transgender individuals because what they see them as is busted up, broke down, obvious trannys. this is why we don't use this term. quit being ignorant

    Posted by: AndrewM | Dec 2, 2011 1:29:18 PM

  16. This is such bullsh*t to go after a man like NPH who has done more to advance the cause of gay rights and the way gays are viewed by the rest of the world by the way he lives his life and not by words or speeches ....coming out... a successful career playing heterosexual characters ... marrying his partner ... having kids all as a gay man with a dignified sense of humor in the spotlight of the popular press; the people criticizing him need to gain some perspective on the big picture here and go fight real battles and not to create battles where none exist.

    Posted by: NewYrkr | Dec 2, 2011 1:31:29 PM

  17. Let the glitterbombing commence. Sigh.

    Maybe this time the glitter will be thrown by actual trans people.

    My, how we love to devour our own.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Dec 2, 2011 1:35:01 PM

  18. NPH should NOT apologize! I'm SO sick of being associated with those freaks!

    Posted by: Mansquito | Dec 2, 2011 1:39:00 PM

  19. I love the word police. I hate contractions. From now on I am going to "apostrophe bomb" anyone who uses contractions like "I'm" "Don't" or "shouldn't" when they should be using the entire words. It's highly offensive. Oops I did it again!

    Posted by: Frank | Dec 2, 2011 1:40:01 PM

  20. This is such an unfortunate misuse of activism.

    Tranny is not a slur if used in the general case. If you call a transgendered person a tranny, you are using a slur. If you call a drag queen a tranny, you are not using a slur.

    In context NPH was not saying that he sounded transgendered. He was not disparaging anybody.

    Just because you're sensitive doesn't mean that everyone's trying to hurt you. Grow up.

    Posted by: RandySF | Dec 2, 2011 1:41:03 PM

  21. Good for him. I'm glad he caught it and apologized immediately.

    Posted by: luminum | Dec 2, 2011 1:46:17 PM

  22. As someone who loves and respects trans people of all varieties, and who has many trans friends, I missed the memo that told me not to use that word. I didn't realize that it was coopted as a slur by some people.

    (Which is where the problem probably lies. I feel that if we can no longer use the word just becasue some people who perform acts of violence against trans people use it, we are letting those asshats win. My two cents.)

    Okay, well, when in TransRome...

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Dec 2, 2011 1:48:45 PM

  23. F#ck GLAAD. They are "reaching out" to NPH? Why don't they just STFU and bury themselves. They are a worthless organization that exists primarily to throw award dinners and pay their executive director over $200,000 per year.

    If deranged trannies throw glitter on NPH or attack him in any way, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Enough of their terrorism. How long do gay people have to be bullied by a small group of mentally unstable people who are largely straight and who bring nothing to the gay movement other than hostility and homophobia?

    Posted by: James | Dec 2, 2011 1:55:31 PM

  24. Tranny Bonaduce.

    Posted by: Mitchblair | Dec 2, 2011 1:56:05 PM

  25. people need to relax. Seems there are too many who are over sensitive.

    Fight the fight where it is needed. Do not let it go out on NPH. But just because it is NPH, the media and "trans" community will use it for all it's worth. So that they cause trouble - and draws attention to themself.

    Go NPH

    Posted by: TT | Dec 2, 2011 1:56:36 PM

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