After a dozen years and a few arguments (okay, minor disagreements), I am changing my policy regarding the use of transgender vs. transgendered. Believe me, I didn’t think it would happen, either. And I’m not changing my mind — just the way I do business.
So, going forward (and with gritted teeth), I am going to start using terms such as “transgender person” and “she (he) is transgender” rather than “transgendered person” and so on.
I am going to conform to the Media Reference Guide that one of my favorite organizations (GLAAD, or the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) put out several years ago and of which I have accumulated several copies over time.
Although I like GLAAD, I have always disagreed with them about this one particular issue — and I felt so strongly about it that I just went my own merry way. But I was arguing this point long before they came out with the guide.
“Transgender” just never seemed right to me when describing a person, and the media in particular tend to shorten “transgender person” to “a transgender,” and “transgender people” to “a group of transgenders,” like we were a gaggle of geese or something. And even though the guide advises the media not to do this, they pay about as much attention to that as I did to transgender v. transgendered.
I also disagree that adding “ed” is grammatically incorrect and that you can’t add “ed” to a word to make it an adjective.
But at this point, this tired, jaded, middle-aged, generally well-mannered, well-intentioned, sometimes misguided, male-gendered person is giving up the fight.
I think that those people who support the use of “transgender person” find the phrase “transgendered person” to be offensive. For me, it is the other way around, but I would much rather take the hit than have my readers take it.
And, no, I’m not trying to be a martyr, and, yes, I know that I am always going to end up offending someone, no matter what I say or don’t say.
It’s simply that I would prefer to spend less of my time offending my own community and more of my time offending the conservative right wing.
So, in my attempts to be an enlightened individual, I am changing my policy and moving on — and I think it’s for the better.
(Photo: GLAAD’s Media Reference Guide)