It’s been almost a month since my last post. I’d love to say that I was busy with the holiday season, or that I’d temporarily lost my muse, or find some other innocuous excuse for my absence. The truth is unfortunately more grim, as the situation between my wife and I has deteriorated quickly. I won’t hash through all the intimate details, but I’ve found it difficult to follow my last article.
I look at the words I wrote, and can’t find the person inside who wrote them. I read the words of love and thankfulness and wonder where they came from. Perhaps it’s fate that had me pen them before it all changed, so their undeniability can stare back at me. So that weeks, or months, or years I can look back as a healed woman. I’ll never know the reason for such timing until the passage of time has sutured my heart. But until then, I found something interesting – and not emotionally charged – that I wanted to share with you.
What Words Are Used To Describe The Transgender Through History
Google just released a new website, called the Ngram viewer, that allows you to see the comparative prevalence of terms in the many hundreds of thousands of books scanned as part of the Google Books project. I thought it would be interesting to see how some common words in the gender community fared through history. You can find link to the chart here.
As you can see, the word ‘transgender’ didn’t gain prominence until the last few decades, and just recently eclipsed ‘transsexual’. It’s also surprising the ‘crossdresser’ barely features at all in literature. Why do you think this is? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
Personally, I refer to myself as a woman, or more descriptively a transgender woman. I have a few friends who refer to themselves as a transsexual woman. For me, transgender captures the inclusive and nuanced nature of gender identity. Rather than focusing on the organs which undergo an operation, it seems to, for me, highlight the emotional journey and intellectual struggle that is so much more profound than the physical.
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