A big reason of why I wanted to start blogging was to work through the way I think about books in a productive way (I started a journal to take notes in — I have some more posts on deck about some of the interesting stuff I’ve read!) and to hopefully be able to help new authors & great books thrive!
Recently, I was approached by a publicist through this blog to review & publicize a book — YAY! The first time this has happened to me! I was so excited. I hopped on over to Goodreads.com to read a little bit more about the book, and the word “transvestite” was written in the description. This book takes place in present day.
Immediately, I got an icky feeling. I turned to a Facebook group of readers I belong to, as well as a very open & candid group of parents I belong to, and asked if my gut reaction was correct — and I was assured it was. This word is outdated and not politically correct.
Now, I love Rocky Horror, but I also can acknowledge that it has problematic language and themes. Additionally, I know that many books that are either historical fiction/non-fiction, or were written in a different era, may use problematic (and of course, I could go really deep with this) words & phrases that were okay to use in a different time & place. (I have called out family members on this more than once. I can practically see some of them rolling their eyes at me right now.)
I can’t in good conscience promote a book, or even give it a good review, when it uses words that are absolutely outdated and friends of mine in the LGBTQ community would be offended by, especially with a setting that doesn’t call for a word like this to be used at all.
For more information about what words you should use, I found this article really helpful: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/03/19/transsexual-transgender-transvestite-what-should-you-call-trans-people/ (And as an ally, not a member of this community myself, I’d love to hear if anything I’ve said is incorrect! <3)