Radio show host and activist Lance Bass has penned an apology letter for The Huffington Post following a lesson in transgender-sensitive terminology. Details follow.
Although we simply reported on the "tranny" exchange, included the video corroborating it and asked readers how they felt (without printing words like "slur," "transphobic" or other terms that might be interpreted as judgemental), Lance felt that we needlessly "attacked" him just to "sell a few magazines" and should be ashamed.
Read his post from Huffpo and ask: who's doing the attacking here, really?
By lumping Instinct's innocuous post in with the drastically different reports published by Advocate and Queerty, does Lance himself accomplish what he accuses us of: issuing generalizations and mindless blanket reports that only seek to attack a fellow member of the community?
But on to the actual apology, right?
Writes Lance in "We Shouldn't Use The Word Tranny":
I often hear the term used on Logo's RuPaul's Drag Race and spent an entire summer listening to Christian Siriano use the phrase "hot tranny mess" on Lifetime's Project Runway. In my definition, I was referring to the flamboyant and hilarious drag queens and transvestites who play on Christopher Street in New York City, some of whom I even call friends. When I use the word "tranny," I am picturing Tim Curry's Frank-N-Furter character in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or the wildly hilarious Eddie Izzard. I certainly don't think of Chaz Bono or someone questioning the body they were born into.
It is a word that I have always associated with overly made-up men in garish costumes and dramatic makeup and have always considered it a term of endearment. It had never crossed my mind that it was a slur against those who are transgender and fighting for their identity.
I am incredibly sensitive to anyone's feelings, especially anyone who has been made to feel less than or humiliated. I have nothing but respect and empathy for anyone struggling with, or who has had to struggle with, finding peace in the body they were born into. I know my own struggles that I had to go through just to find peace with my sexuality; theirs is one I could never imagine.
I cannot say it enough, but I am sorry to anyone whose feelings have been hurt by my comment. I recognize in retrospect that it was ignorant and insensitive, and I will remain conscious of keeping that word out of my vocabulary, as well as of correcting anyone around me who uses it.
What do you think of Lance's piece for Huffpo, Instincters?