The Radical Copyeditor’s Style Guide for Writing About Transgender People

Looking forward to a day when this guide is obsolete and redundant.

Radical Copyeditor

Introduction (Read This First)

A style guide for writing about transgender people is practically an oxymoron. Style guides are designed to create absolutes—bringing rules and order to a meandering and contradictory patchwork quilt of a language. Yet there are no absolutes when it comes to gender. That’s why this is a radical copyeditor’s style guide. Radical copyediting isn’t about absolutes; it’s about context and care.

There are profound reasons for why the language that trans people use to describe ourselves and our communities changes and evolves so quickly. In Western culture, non-trans people have for centuries created the language that describes us, and this language has long labeled us as deviant, criminal, pathological, unwell, and/or unreal.

As trans people have fought for survival, we have also fought for the right to describe ourselves in our own language and to reject language that criminalizes, pathologizes, or invisibilizes us. Just as there…

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Stepping Back, Moving Forward

I could not have written this any better, so I will simply, with huge gratitude to Ruth, reblog!

The Word by Ruth Knox

Let us be brave, and live brave lives.  Simple statement, enormous rewards.

When I was a small girl of about five or six, I began to suffer from  night terrors.  My poor parents, exhausted with their full time jobs and the weighty business of raising five kids, scarcely had the time
or energy to deal with a sensitive child like me.  My benevolent older sister held me tight sometimes to give me some sense of security in the hopes that I would be able to sleep, but eventually even her eyelids grew heavy and she drifted off.  What ensued, what always followed was a long night in the dark, the soft sounds of everyone sleeping around me, shadows playing menacingly on the walls, and doorknobs turning  by invisible hands.  It was then that I learned what my own heartbeat sounded like, pounding up in my throat, body taught, hands gripping…

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