1. Why the ‘ed’ on the end?
2. Why do people take issue?”
Don’t even get me started. Oops – too late.
I have had an issue with this for many years, and I have written about it before, but that was a while ago, so I will reiterate for those who are not aware of my feelings about this.
When I started transition (in 1997), “transgendered” was the appropriate term. You will see it throughout my book Just Add Hormones: An Insider’s Guide to the Transsexual Experience. It is grammatically correct, it sounds right, and it makes the most sense as an adjective, which is what it is.
While not all adjectives take an “ed,” “gender” does. I am a gendered person. If I am a gendered person, then it would follow that I would be a transgendered person (although I don’t identify in this way – I identify as a transsexual person).
I am left-handed, not left-hand. I am brown-eyed, not brown-eye. I was married, not marry, and now I am divorced, not divorce. Sometimes I get tired (not tire) of the whole argument, and I have gotten to the point where I am determined (not determine) to leave it alone – except when it comes up, as it has here.
Somewhere between 1997 and today, “transgendered” became a negative term. It wasn’t just that people began to prefer the term “transgender” because the tongue didn’t have to do as much work. It became offensive. Some of the reasons that were given to me for this offense were that the “ed” signified that being transgender:
> was something that the person had done and was finished (not finish) with.
> was something that had happened (not happen) to the person, rather than something ongoing that the person is.
> was something negative, like being divorced (which is not necessarily negative, depending on the situation). (more…)