Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Doctor Who and Arrow Star John Barrowman Tells Offended Trans Community To 'Lighten Up' After Using The Word 'Tranny'

Openly gay actor John Barrowman has come under fire from members of the trans community once again for comments he made in October last year in which he used the slur word 'tranny', then telling members of the transgender community who were offended to 'lighten up'.

The argument originally started in October when Barrowman used the term in a behind the scenes video for popular comic book television series 'Arrow' in which he used the phrase 'tranny-tastic'.  This spurred multiple complaints, news articles and blog pieces about the incident in which Barrowman was called out for using a slur word when he claims to be an ally of the transgender community.

After the incident Barrowman released a Q&A video where he directly addressed the complaints, stating that he felt that there was nothing wrong with using the term tranny, used it several more times there and then, and even went on to say that those people who were offended were just 'haters'.

The argument has been reignited once again, however, when a Twitter user called Barrowman out on his unapologetic use of a term that has been used to degrade and humiliate the trans community.  Barrowman's response was less than satisfactory to say the least.

Barrowman's response of still dodging any acknowledgement that he is in the wrong stirred a whole string of critical responses from members of the trans community.

As you can see things got quite heated, the full chain of tweets is available for viewing on Twitter right now and makes for some pretty amazing reading.  Amazing not because of the outcry against Barrowman, but the number of fans who rose to his defence, claiming that because he's a supporter of the LGBT community he should get a free pass to use the word Tranny, or that the trans community are the ones in the wrong for finding offense with his words.

Barrowman was quick to defend himself, stating that 'In general no one know my struggles or a lot of my history so be careful when u judge and throw daggers'.  Eventually the argument seemed to get too much for Barrowman and he sent out a tweet asking those people who are upset with his actions to 'fuck off'.

The problem with situations like this is that it occurs when one side refuses to budge.  I'm not talking about the trans community not backing down as he and his fans call for, that would be wrong.  It's Barrowman himself that needs to back down here.  he needs to step back, acknowledge that he spoke out of turn, made offence where it was not his intention and apologise.  If he had done that to begin with this whole thing would have been forgotten.

Instead what we have is one of the biggest LGBT stars in the western world, with massive fan bases both in Europe and America, saying that it's okay to use the word Tranny.  He's showing people that you can be an active supporter of the LGBT community but still get away with abusing trans people.

By not acknowledging that what he has said is wrong or offensive he's belittling a whole section of the LGBT community.  Perhaps he's more of an LGB supporter than an LGBT supporter.

What really angers me though is that people are defending him.  He's being forgiven by so many people.  If he had turned around and said faggot or nigger would the world be so quick to defend his right to use those words?  Would he himself hear the term faggot and think 'well that's okay for that person to say that'?  No, he'd challenge it, and people would be behind him.

No, this is just another example of how when push comes to shove the trans community are seen as a joke.  Our feelings mean nothing.  Our rights don't count.  Our safety doesn't matter.  People should be free to insult us at the drop of a hat without any repercussions.  We should be ignored and vilified when we speak out about injustices. 

If everyone followed John Barrowmans example as an 'ally' then the world would be an even more terrible place for transgender people.  With an ally like this who the hell needs enemies?


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