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Whether or not you were or are deliberately being mean doesn't really enter into this. That might be more clear if I framed it through other examples, like this: Oblivious cis folks reinforce the genital-essentialist binary through language all the time, often without "intending to be mean." My doctor enforced medical gatekeeping on my transition, but he wasn't trying to be mean, either. Those behaviors are still inexcusable and transphobic; they still hurt people. In what way is saying "tranny" different? In what way do your intentions excuse you? Are you going to engage at all with the complaints expressed in that letter you were responding to? Whether or not you ultimately change any of your behaviors, at least be brave enough to do more than skim the surface of that text. There was a lot more in it than just a remark about the word "tranny." When I read it over, it seemed to me that it took a lot of guts on the part of Quinnae Moongazer to write such a thing. It'd be a massive shame for such a heartfelt bit of writing to be ignored. And if you believe in your convictions with the strength that you say you do -- if you can articulate those convictions -- a thoughtful response would only serve to further your argument.
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Nov 18, 2010