Drag Queens | Lady Bunny | Transgender

Drag Diva Lady Bunny Weighs In On 'Tranny'


In an interview with Paper Magazine, drag personality Lady Bunny spoke on her new show Clown Syndrome and during the interview offered her opinions on the use of the word "tranny". She pulled no punches, saying:

Tranny is an abbreviation for transvestite and transsexual, so I'm free to use it since I fall with that category. Much as blacks can use the N-word. I know tranny from London, where they abbreviate everything -- breakfast is brekkie, biscuit is biccie. Tranny is used affectionately on the club scene. Even transsexual advocates like Jayne County and Kate Bornstein have come out and said that these words aren't necessarily slurs.


And I'm sick of people thinking they can ban words because they make them feel bad. Boo hoo for you! Any time we choose a different path in life, we're going to get shit for it -- whether you choose to be openly gay, trans or even a straight guy with tattoos all over his face. If you don't have the balls to take s--t, then choose an easy path. And for huge gay organizations like GLAAD to join in to censor Ru or anyone else confuses me. "Gender bender" is on GLAAD's list of banned words. That's what Frank-n-Furter, David Bowie and Sylvester were--that's not a slur except to the most precious, uptight goody two-shoes.

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  1. So according to this has been, if I don't want to be called a fag I should opt or choose to be straight. These bitches are starting to sound like some straight up right wing nut jobs.

    Posted by: Tony | Jun 1, 2014 7:58:03 PM

  2. Love Lady Bunny.

    Posted by: Enchantra | Jun 1, 2014 8:11:17 PM

  3. Tony, if you don't understand, don't just jam someone else's arguments into your anti-gay pet-theory you have on-hand folded into your breast pocket.

    You MUST be trolling. Either that or you're extremely stupid.

    Lady Bunny didn't say that.

    You were the kid who would force puzzle pieces together that didn't fit.

    Posted by: Anon | Jun 1, 2014 8:15:54 PM

  4. @Tony...Actually what "this has been" is saying is that people need to act like adults. Life is hard and if you crumble when someone calls you a name like "fag" or hurts you feelings in some other way...you are going to have a very rough row to hoe. Been called a "fag" a lot in my life. I'm still alive.

    Posted by: Ted | Jun 1, 2014 8:52:44 PM

  5. I don't really understand why they need to use the word, especially since it doesn't apply to gay men, which is what the drag queen is v tranny bc the later is not about drag.What are they defending here? The right to be as screwed up as straights ?

    Posted by: Factoid | Jun 1, 2014 9:03:10 PM

  6. By the way, I'm tough and say that people should defend themselves. , including physically if it comes to that.

    The comment however that one should just get over being attacked verbal gets it backwards

    Weak is accepting when someone is crapping on you with a smile

    These queens are just rationalizing

    Posted by: Factoid | Jun 1, 2014 9:07:04 PM

  7. Transvestites, gender queers, transmen, and transwomen all fall under the umbrella of "Transgender."

    These hashtag activists are trying to narrow the playing field of who can be called "transgender" by playing with definitions, especially the anti-drag, anti-realness, camp.

    Transvestites can say tranny all they want.

    And leave the "cis" crap to organic chemistry.

    Posted by: Polyboy | Jun 1, 2014 9:47:56 PM

  8. I've been called "fag" many times. I'm still here to talk about it. Those who called me "fag?" Nope.

    Posted by: Sean Maloney | Jun 1, 2014 9:48:35 PM

  9. Oops...my comment should read, "It's LIKE A five year old..." I should proof better.

    Posted by: kyle | Jun 1, 2014 10:01:33 PM

  10. I agree with Lady Bunny. Sorry, but if I call another gay man a "fag" and he gets offended by it, then he's an uptight goody two shoes. I'm also Jewish and make Jew jokes. So what. Get over it, and fight the REAL enemies of the community.

    Posted by: Joseph L. | Jun 1, 2014 10:10:21 PM

  11. I must admit, I've been feeling fairly ambivalent about this whole conflict. But I'm getting a little tired of people who merely dress up as what I am for entertainment and take it off at the end of the day getting to say what words should and shouldn't be used to describe me.

    Posted by: SulRid | Jun 1, 2014 10:11:02 PM

  12. Sounds like a childish response to me.

    Posted by: TigHeart | Jun 1, 2014 10:36:13 PM

  13. Sounds like a childish response to me.

    Posted by: TigHeart | Jun 1, 2014 10:36:14 PM

  14. btw everyone knows that tranny is a slur for transgender.

    Posted by: TigHeart | Jun 1, 2014 10:37:30 PM

  15. thank god we have drag queens like RuPaul and Lady Bunny to inform us on social policy and give us their cultural critique. I appreciate their opinions - but when people who have spent their lives studying gender issues get less attention than the opinions of these people - we've got a problem.

    Posted by: steve | Jun 1, 2014 10:51:06 PM

  16. Good for him.

    Posted by: al | Jun 1, 2014 11:49:29 PM

  17. It's like watching a war between 2 wings of an insane asylum. Maybe the trannies or the drag queens will try to create an alliance with the castration-seeking neutrois or the genderqueers who insist on being referred to with plural pronouns.

    How did LGBs ever get mixed up with this bizarre menagerie of creatures? It's all very amusing, but we have lives to lead and futures to build and LGB youth to support.

    Posted by: Tyler | Jun 2, 2014 12:02:41 AM

  18. I live how the worst comments aren't filtered here

    Posted by: Factoid | Jun 2, 2014 12:06:23 AM

  19. But what does Danny V say about it? That's the only opinion that matters! An affluent cis white person who wears women's clothing (aka a transvestite) said something, bring out the pitchforks! I noticed there hasn't been a post by him today, hopefully he got the boot.

    Posted by: Carmelo | Jun 2, 2014 12:31:11 AM

  20. There's only one thing I look for to determine whether a word is offensive or not: the speaker's intention. Gay, for instance, is not a bad word. But if someone begins to shout "Gay!" at me repeatedly in the hope of making me feel like there's something wrong with me, I will be offended even though the word gay itself is not offensive. Again, that is because even though the word itself was harmless, the intention behind the word was not.

    Now, in the case of drag queens using the word "tranny," we see the reverse. The word has a negative connotation, but the drag queens who use it are not intentionally trying to insult transgenders. If I were transgender and a drag queen used the word "tranny" to refer to other drag queens, I probably would not be offended.

    I do think there are legitimate reasons why some transgenders would prefer the word "tranny" to go away. For many, hearing the word could bring back bad memories of situations when the word was used to insult them. Nevertheless, even if we try to remove "tranny" from the vernacular, it would easily be replaced by another slur so long as transphobia exists. That is the real problem we should be focusing our attention on because, as they say, there are no bad words, just bad intentions.

    Posted by: Marvin | Jun 2, 2014 12:49:24 AM

  21. Most younger LGBT people don't defend the word "tranny" because we know it's stupid on top of being offensive. Why are all these old people up in arms over a stupid word?

    Posted by: Honesty | Jun 2, 2014 6:52:03 AM

  22. Amongst my friends who are transgendered there is no "One Opinion" on this, but it does cross over into N-word and "fags can joke with fags" territory. a number of my MTF friends use "tranny" - non-pejoratively - and for what it's worth these are friends of mine who don't "pass", and have no desire to - and I think there's a crossover there in that regard, similar to my specific self-identification as "Queer" as well as gay.

    I remember many years ago seeing two school children fighting, and one hurling "BLACK!" at the other as an insult. Yeah - using the person's ethnicity, hurled as invective. No need to use the N-word - the kid was already making a connection that "the ethnicity" alone could be used "against them as an insult".

    There's a difference, of course, between self-identification, words being used between "friends and family" ( IE, the SNL skit - Dyke and Fats... "you don't get to call us that! those are OUR words! we're friends we love each other!") and then third parties with no real connection or association to those words who toss them around and then act oh-so-bothered by the suggestion that, you know, *they use different words and not those ones*.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 2, 2014 8:08:34 AM

  23. Well, most of us Autobots call Deceptecons "tranny" all the time, since we're just "Transformers"...robots in disguise ;)

    Posted by: Optimus Prime | Jun 2, 2014 9:36:03 AM

  24. I love Lady Bunny and I go to her blog everyday...well, every week day (not as much as I come to Towleroad and Rod Beta 2.0, but I go to and I enjoy the Lady Bunny Blog). I've also seen many of her videos and I enjoy them, and I also enjoy her comedy routines and her parodies of popular music.

    BUT, I have to disagree with the great Lady Bunny on this issue.

    If a Transwoman tells you NOT to call her a "tranny" then don't do it--that's all. Why is it so difficult?

    I think of someone like Laverne Cox as a Transwoman and a woman. And that's that.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 2, 2014 11:17:23 AM

  25. "If a Transwoman tells you NOT to call her a "tranny" then don't do it--that's all. Why is it so difficult?"

    But who is doing that? No one is calling anyone names. What's happening is people are being told they can't use the word at all.

    Posted by: pablo | Jun 2, 2014 11:25:33 AM

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