Indian-origin man shocked to find transvestism termed as ‘abnormal desire’

December 21st, 2010 - 6:34 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Dec 21 (ANI): An Indian-originman in Sydney has revealed that he was very shocked and offended to find the term “transvestism” defined as an “abnormal desire” in The Macquarie Dictionary.

“Transvestism”, the dictionary stated, is “the abnormal desire to wear clothing typical of the opposite sex”.

Akash Arora, 32, a sub-editor who had been looking for the difference between the meanings of “transsexual” and “transvestite”, found the definition was not only incorrect but also offensive.

“The word abnormal I thought was demeaning and judgmental,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.

“I checked half a dozen other dictionaries - including Oxford, Cambridge, Webster’s and Chambers - from other English-speaking countries. None used the word ‘abnormal’ and that infuriated me.

“Australia already, unfortunately, has a reputation of being intolerant to minorities. And it’s situations like these that further fuel that belief,” he stated.

Arora wrote to Macqaurie to let them know his feelings about the matter, and was surprised when the dictionary’s publisher, Susan Butler, wrote back.

“You are quite right. This definition was written at a time when ‘abnormal’ was used to mean ‘atypical’, but the most common meaning of abnormal is much more judgmental,” she stated.

“We will change the definition to the following: the desire to wear clothing typical of the opposite sex,” she added.

Arora hopes the change will make transvestites “feel less hurt, discriminated and insecure if they come across the definition without the word abnormal”. (ANI)

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