TricksTreats on Understanding Slurs When Tagging Trans Content
There’s a disproportionate amount of violent acts against trans sex workers than other sex workers, and there has been for years. Trans women sex workers in particular are vulnerable to hate crimes. And it’s no surprise that these hateful attitudes prevail when transphobic slurs double as some of the most popular search terms for trans porn – and are oftentimes the only search terms people know to use for such content. ‘Tranny’, ‘cuntboy’ and ‘shemale’ are common words used to tag or name trans content creators’ videos – but they double as hurtful and inappropriate in pretty much any other context.
So should trans content creators and their customers continue using these words, or are they leftovers from a bygone era that should disappear?
It’s complicated. For some, tagging their content with these terms may be uncomfortable or feel belittling. For others, these terms are neutral, or sometimes even empowering to reclaim. The biggest obstacle for those who wish to switch to other, more progressive tags such as “trans male” or “trans female” is that their customers may not switch over to searching these tags as well. For many, slurs are an automatic search term for trans content. So if you aren’t using these terms, how do you keep your content from just disappearing?
You can start by make your customers aware of your choices in tagging so that they’re aware. You may want to message them about it. You don’t need to provide an in-depth explanation : just let them know. Then, you need to find a way to promote your content without using these popular keywords. Reddit’s r/Safe4Trans is a forum sharing porn specifically that is not triggering to other trans people by using fetishizing or humiliating language (there are also lots of other subreddits to promote trans content).
Many other trans content creators are happy to do promo-for-promos. And remember : just because you don’t use certain popular tags that can make you uncomfortable doesn’t mean you have to avoid them altogether. Make sure you are proactive about using lots of other tags so your content is seen – for example, if your video includes BDSM, tag it as such and add other relevant tags to help it be seen.
It’s also okay if you do feel comfortable with this language. Some may find it empowering or a little kinky. But if you know that another content creator does not want these terms used about them, respect that, even if you do not personally find these terms offensive.
For customers : if it is not clear on a user’s profile, whether said explicitly or indicated in their own tags, that these terms are okay to use, don’t use them. If you respect someone and enjoy their work, show them by using the terms they prefer.