So I was having tea with a chum at St Pancras station in London and somehow the subject of ‘transitioning’ and trans-gender came up. I can’t remember why and I can’t remember if I am supposed to type or say transgender or trans-gender or transexual or trans-sexual. I think at least one or more ways of typing or saying the words is guaranteed to offend at least one or more people.
“Actually, I was transgender when I was a teenager,” my chum told me.
“Did you have your willie cut off?” I asked.
“No,” she replied. “I never had one.”
“Well,” I said, “I don’t think there was any transing involved.”
“That’s very offensive,” she said.
“To you?” I asked.
“No, not to me,” she replied. “But to some people.”
“Trans-sexual I understand,” I said. “It involves adding bits on or taking bits off. And transvestite I understand. But trans-gender sounds like some Northern rail franchise.”
“That’s very offensive,” my chum said.
“Which?” I said. “Trans-sexual or transvestite or the Northern rail franchise?”
“All three,” she told me. “I hear Eddie Izzard no longer calls himself transvestite because some people find that offensive. Now he calls himself transgender.”
“Has he had his willie cut off?” I asked.
“Not that I know of.”
“Does he sometimes wear men’s clothes and sometimes wear women’s clothes?”
“Men’s and women’s clothes are constructs imposed by the patriarchy,” my friend said.
“I’m confused,” I said.
“You are transfixed,” my friend said.
“Do I need to have my willie cut off to be transgender?” I asked.
“Are there hyphens involved if you type the word?” I asked.
“Depends what the word is,” my chum said.
“I would quite like to identify as a slightly overweight West Indian lady,” I said. “I like the accents. Very warm and cuddly.”
“People would find almost all of that offensive,” my chum said.
“That’s racist,” I said.
“No it isn’t,” my chum said.
“Not trans-anything?” I asked.
“Transgressive,” my chum suggested.
“Can I identify as Bobo the Clown,” I said.
“That might be OK,” my chum said. “But you might need to do a clown course.”
“No,” I said. “I mean a proper clown. Not just sitting staring at people until they do something.”
“Why are you so annoying?” my chum asked.
“Practice,” I suggested.
Anyway – long story short – John Fleming is dead.
I now want to be called Bobo The Clown.
I see a bright future ahead.
With the added bonus of hair.