I had a conversation with a friend a couple of weeks ago where I was lamenting America's obsession on politically correct language. I thought this would just be a breezy couple of sentences and then we'd move to another topic. I was wrong, and my friend was upset. She explained that using language that doesn't upset or exclude people is just common courtesy. I countered that I thought it was a waste of time to so carefully weigh every word when I just wanted to convey information. She told me my attitude was selfish. It wasn't the light conversation I was going for.
This morning as I was looking through facebook I read a post that was about getting eyelash extensions: 'tranny lashes.' I though, wow, that is some harsh, tacky language. I have used that word to describe low brow yet over the top fashion, and then I stopped because I was equating trans people with low brow tacky fashion, and it was really derogatory way. I didn't want to talk about my fellow humans that way, and so I stopped. In fact, there are a lot of words I have purged from my vocabulary because I felt that they were tacky and derogatory. I was misrepresenting myself and who I want to be and I was labeling others. Not cool.
I brought it up with my friend again today. I told her that after a bit of self reflection and seeing it in the wild, I was going to be more mindful of using respectful language.