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Tranny Bingo organisers reject claims of transphobia in wake of petition calling for name change
Apr29

Tranny Bingo organisers reject claims of transphobia in wake of petition calling for name change

LAST UPDATED // Tuesday, 29 April 2014 12:38 Written by // Reg Domingo

Organisers of long-running Sydney social night Tranny Bingo have rejected claims of being transphobic in response to a petition calling for the event to drop the word ‘tranny’.

A petition on Change.org is calling for Tranny Bingo organisers to cease using the term ‘tranny’ and instead use “non hateful and or derogative language/words to describe their events that don’t directly impact the trans community”.

The petition, started by Sydney-based activist Indiana Kelly Edwards, is also addressed to Facebook and venue operators where Tranny Bingo is held, including the Sugar Mill in Kings Cross, Town Hall Hotel in Balmain and Coopers Hotel in Newtown.

“Words such as Tr*nny, sh*male, or other such pejoratives teach society that its (sic) OK to devalue Trans* people and treat them with less respect than others,” a supporting statement for the petition read.

“We have articulated on countless occasions that we do not accept this terminology, or feel safe when its (sic) used in our presence. Oppression and violence is insinuated and implied within the definition of these words and that bring (sic) nothing positive to our lives.”

The statement adds that the daily challenges faced by transgender people are something not shared by other sections of the GLBT community such as drag entertainers.

“Most drag queens do not identify as Trans* and do not endure the oppressive social disadvantages that we, as a minority face daily. In some parts of the world, to be Trans* is a death sentence. In other corners of the globe it can mean homelessness, social stigma, vilification, unemployment, extreme marginalisation, which consequently can lead to post traumatic stress disorder, depression or other secondary mental health issues and often does.”

Edwards did not respond to requests for comment from SX.

The petition is being circulated on Facebook by a page called Wipe Out Transphobia. In comments directed at Tranny Bingo, Wipe Out Transphobia administrators wrote:

We will win this. All the legislation we need is now in place.

I am an admin for Wipe Out Transphobia and my extended network is 165,000 + strong.

A lot of have been victims of violence and the last thing we hear before we are bashed vilified and attacked is the word ‘tranny’.

We will be lobbying hard to have you change it. We already know this is possible in NSW.

The other states will have to do their own lobbying. Expect us very soon.

The wellbeing and safety of our community hinges on this.

Wipe Out Transphobia did not respond to questions from SX.

The online petition has so far collected 188 signatures.

Tranny Bingo was started by local Sydney drag queen, Penny Tration. Writing in response to the petition, Penny wrote on social media:

“Tranny Bingo has been in existence for over 8 years. It has taken the art of ‘Cross Dressing, Drag, TRANsvestism' into many straight venues and it continues to break down barriers and give access to people that wouldn't get to see this art-form in a comfortable non-threatening way. As a TRANSvestite it's my word to use - Transvestism (also called transvestitism) is the practice of dressing and acting in a style or manner traditionally associated with another gender. And I use it with no negativity in fact by using the word I am taking the negativity out of it. Spend time fighting the real haters!”

Sydney drag queen Verushka Darling is a host of Tranny Bingo. She said: “When the Tranny Bingo girls use the term ‘Tranny’, it is in no way used as a hate word”.

“It’s actually a word that is used with love and respect for the community in which they are active participants; a word with which they themselves have been described for many years (some of these girls have been active in the community for decades); and let me tell you, when people use that word in reference to them, it’s not before they bash and beat them (as this petition would imply), but it's with joy, and with a desire to go and see them,” Verushka’s said in a post on social media.

“These girls are in no way transphobic, and neither is the use of the word in relation to them.”

Verushka added: “The Tranny Bingo girls live in an inclusive community where self-identifying ‘Trannies’ are their mentors, their protégés, their colleagues, their friends, their employers, their employees and their audience”.

“They are gender non-conforming performers who are much loved and respected within the GLBTI community and in the mainstream community at large. They have helped break down barriers between communities and have created a broader understanding, awareness and acceptance of gender plurality and non-conformity within the wider community. They have even been featured at corporate events designed to raise awareness and acceptance of diversity in its many forms.

Verushka said Tranny Bingo has been recognised for its work by the Drag Industry Variety Awards, which itself was “co-founded by self-identified trannies, with transgendered women having served on the board, and with self-identified trannies amongst the judges”.

“The Tranny Bingo girls are not the enemies – they are the allies. In the fight for full equality and acceptance it’s a terrible thing when we attack our allies and friends who love, accept and support us, instead of those things that truly oppress and hold us back.”

In 2012, entertainer Trevor Ashley  changed the title of his show from 'Trannie' to 'TrAshley' following outrage from the transgender community.

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Reg Domingo

Reg Domingo

Reg Domingo is the editor of SX.

Comments (11)

  • Daniel

    16 May 2014 at 02:50 |
    The word "tranny" is essentially a (linguistically) morphological phenomenon. Colloquial Australian has a habit of shortening words, known technically as "back clipping". Often a suffix like "-ie" or "-o" is tacked on to a root morpheme. Other common examples include mozzie, barbie (bbq), Aussie, rego, arvo, etc. There is nothing inherently politicised or derogatory about "tranny". It's just efficient (or lazy) speech (depending on your point of view. The fact that "tranny" is such an example of what is a general pattern in Australian word formation supports this. I think it's total overkill for Edwards to host this petition.

    reply

  • Jennifer Jones

    13 May 2014 at 20:00 |
    It must be difficult being a white former heterosexual male who cut your dick off, only to find you're even angrier at everyone and everything. I guess that they can't do a knuckle reduction yet.

    reply

  • Angelica Perduta

    08 May 2014 at 14:50 |
    BINGO is Gay, anyway!
    How do people feel if I say that then?

    reply

  • Indiana

    08 May 2014 at 11:49 |
    ok so just got off the phone and ty Reg for clearing that up. Apparently I was contacted through FB however this message didnt reach me due to I guess a FB error so I apologize for having called you a liar. I am and was always happy to discuss this in a public forum and still am.

    reply

  • Indiana

    08 May 2014 at 11:32 |
    For the record SX you stated: "Edwards did not respond to requests for comment from SX.".

    this is not true I was never approached or asked any questions by SX if I had bee asked I would have been very happy to make a statement however this didn't happen.

    I am not happy that you have lied about this.

    reply

  • Indiana

    08 May 2014 at 11:18 |
    Indiana here. If you want to interview me contact me through my FB page. I have more to say.

    https://www.facebook.com/Indi3r

    reply

  • Cynthialee

    02 May 2014 at 01:34 |
    So I am hearing from this person "My revenue stream is solid and there is no way I am going to change because it might threaten the cash flow".

    Just stop it please. As a TS woman who is part of a marginalized community I am baffled why the use of hate words is so important to some people.

    reply

  • Dysphoria Wars

    01 May 2014 at 11:03 |
    Wow. Race versus gender. Can we get the species dysphoric in there as well?

    reply

  • Nigger Bingo!

    30 April 2014 at 18:35 |
    I'm with you, girls! I myself run a positive and community-enriching event called Nigger Bingo! Black people get all upset because I'm white, but I do it in blackface so obviously I have as much right to the word nigger as they do! I'm using it with no negativity and actually by using it I'm taking the negativity out of it!

    reply

  • I'm a Tranny

    30 April 2014 at 11:10 |
    No one group speaks for everyone in the trans* community.

    Remember that!

    reply

  • kelli Busey

    30 April 2014 at 05:32 |
    I know, let's call it faggot bingo. Why not? It's not defamation because I said it's not. No I not gay but I knew one once.

    reply

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