Are you Arthur, Martha or maybe both?

As usual I was swishing down Oxford St last Saturday night. I had just finished Curry-Oake at the Tandoori Palace and was heading down to perform at the Midnight Shift.

To say I stuck out would be an understatement. Sequined dress and huge boa, all in white, I seemed to be a beacon for all to see.

I was met with the usual hoots and cheers from those who were comfortable seeing a drag queen on Oxford St.

But I was surprised to hear numerous ya fucking tranny lines which really rocked my apple cart.

I have heard the names faggot or poofter so many times, but this increased negative use of the word tranny really upset me.

I’m lucky enough to have many transgendered people as friends, and in my mind there should be no negative connotations with the word tranny at all.

My friends are a mix of male to female transgender and also female to male, and all of them possess amazing strength.

Sometimes my mind boggles at where such strength comes from. Like the rest of us they all can go through crazy periods -“ but then again I have one of those every week.

So what is a tranny? A very general and basic explanation is someone who is born in the wrong body.

Studies have proven that this is not just someone who wants to wear the opposite gender’s clothes, but somewhere there has been a genetic mix-up and someone born Peter really should have been a Peta -“ or vice versa.

Most transgender people are aware of this at an early age and make the transition very early, but for others it is not clear until later in life.

We all remember coming out to our family and how hard it seemed to be. Some family members left us whereas others stood by us.

I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to tell my family that I wanted to change my gender. I know there would be many in my family I would never hear from again. They would rather remove themselves from my presence than deal with the realities.

The point I am hoping to get across is that these words seem to be so easy to say, they come out without a thought, but for others they cut like a knife.

Being accepted by everyone has to start with your own community. The courage it takes that person to walk down the street as who they really are should be applauded, not used to ridicule.

For all those considering transition there are organisations like ACON and the Gender Centre to help you.

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