He/she/they, transgender, non-binary, and other terms are ones that we are hearing more about. Finally. Discussions about how gender and sexual orientation are different are finally happening, and that’s a good thing. For too long, people have been silenced when they have every right to be proud and vocal about who they are. Hiding one’s true self is an isolating, lonely experience that I don’t wish on anyone.
Recently, I read an article about how transgender women are referred to by different terms in various countries. I didn’t realize that!
It makes sense, though, given the differences in language and how slang terms can be specific to a country. For example, while the word couch is one that I use all the time here in North America, in the UK they are more likely to say the word sofa.
Of course, people are way more important than the sofa/couch! With that in mind, I read this article wondering whether the words would be respectful or not. I was happy to see that they are, according to the infographic below.
The addition of words for transgender women in different languages and parts of the world shows that there is finally a sense of acknowledgement for those who were ignored for far too long.
The main thing I look for in language is that the word is not putting down someone but instead showing them the same respect as anyone else. That’s what we all deserve.
Reading this article also showed me that we are really connected. Whether you say travesti in Latin America or waria in Indonesia, we are talking about trans people and that’s awesome. We are all using language to communicate and we are all human. Thus, we all deserve to be part of the conversation, learn and grow, and enjoy a good quality of life.
I also want to point out something that that article does not touch on, which I think is important too. That is, you can be called whatever you want to be. Not everyone wants the trans label. Instead, you might want to simply be identified as a woman.
If you are talked about in a way that you do not like, please speak up. I am she and her, for example.
Also, I encourage you to continue to learn about other languages. There is a lot to benefit from when you do. Learning a second language (or third or fourth…) gives you insights into other cultures, and that’s a powerful thing. It helps create a sense of community. We all live in the same world – and we have to band together to get through this lifetime!
Finally, each country has a unique history with trans people. If you are trans, you have the right to have your gender identity recognized by the government. I realize that I have a lot to learn still about trans history in Canada, where I live, and other parts of the world. I am open to learning more and want the world to be more inclusive.
There are still so many transgender issues. But I hope that discussions like this one will help to move the conversation forward.
Infographic Design By My Ladyboy Date
8 thoughts on “Language and transgender women”
Interesting post and I appreciate your approach to investigating international terms. Definitely concerned about the ladyboy reference as it is not dissimilar to the reference tranny which is derogatory and inappropriate. Ladyboys in Thailand and the Middle East are sec workers who are subject to terrible things. Your response to Robbie gives me pause.
Yes, when I said variety to Robbie I meant it – Parenting, language, environmental, sports, and history posts provide quite the variety here :D
Thats very useful. Thank you so much, Christy! You are really having the most variety in topics, and all are very interesting. Thank you! xx Michael
I’m pleased you appreciated the variety here, Michael!
Great post, Christy. People have different associations with different terms or identities. Some of us might be comfortable with certain identities at certain points of our lives, and other identities during other times. We are indeed all human and who we identify as shouldn’t be a barrier when it comes to interacting with others. Hope you are doing well 😊
Thank you for such a thoughtful comment, Mabel. You are right that how you want to be identified can certainly change over time too. Nice to hear from you x
An interesting post.
Hi Robbie, you can’t say I don’t have variety in the posts here, that’s for sure x