When I was little I thought that words were carefully thought up and voted on by a group of old white men, all seated along a table. They’d weigh each word ponderously before voting. Then we could finally use it. It wasn’t until I was older that I realised our language evolves, taking words from other languages and sometimes creating words as needed.

As gay people became more positively talked about, a new word evolved to explain people who aren’t gay. Straight. People have no noticeable problem with being called this. Then transgender people became more positively talked about and a new word evolved to explain people who aren’t trans. That word is “cisgender”, using the Latin prefix meaning “on this side of”. And people lost their freaking minds.

For some reason people seem to think cisgender is an insult, some nasty slur being tossed at them, instead of a simple description. The same people who have no problem being called white, straight, their nationality, their religion, male/female etc suddenly don’t want or like labels when it comes to cisgender. Hell, someone named Olivia even wrote a “poem” about her hatred of the word.

This is your term for me.
Your stereotype, your aggression
When you have been called it all
Fag queer whatever.

Well now i speak

I am not gay.
I am not bi.
I am not a man.
Or unsure.
I am not your words.
I am not “cisgender”.

I am a woman.
I love a man.
But that doesnt matter.
Because my name is Olivia.

~blogged by aliceoblivious~

I’ve come up with two theories for why so many people dislike the word so much. The first theory is that, unlike straight, which has positive connotations (such as straight as an arrow), cis sounds too similar to sissy, leading people to think of “crybabies” or “whiners”, even if it’s more unconscious than conscious.

The second theory is that some people dislike transgender people so much, they don’t want a word labelling them that has anything to do with trans people, even if it does mean the exact opposite.

Or maybe it’s a mixture of the two.

Whatever the reason, the word cisgender is not a slur. The only time it becomes a slur is when it’s transformed to cishit and, in that case, I don’t want to know what you said, and chances are you probably deserved it.

But cisgender is fine.

2 thoughts on “Cisgender…

  1. Because cisgender people make up 99.4% of the population, I can see how they would not want any label put upon them, other than the binary “man” or “woman.” However, even as only 0.6% are considered to be transgender, not all of us want to be labelled as such, either. If cisgender people would simply accept us as we are, we wouldn’t need to label each other at all. Even the use of gender-neutral language leads to problems, as there are many – both cis and trans – who would consider it to be gender-insignificant. Personally, I see, and refer to, myself as a woman; not a transgender woman. However, because “transgender” refers to all of those who fall within the sliding and fluid gender binary, I will always be considered to be trans. I dislike all labels, and wouldn’t want to be called “cisgender” (if I were one) any more than I am called “transgender” now. Just call me Connie!

  2. I first heard of the word when my ex who is trans brought a friend over who held a hatred toward cisgender people. Yes, she hated cis people and applied the term to me with her tone of voice, body language and attitude.

    So I learned of the term through negative association. It was not even one association, it followed with online derogatory remarks about cis people not being understanding or accepting of trans especially because they misspoke pronouns or failed to accept understanding upon first learning new information that contradicted their understanding of people and gender.

    Since then, I have learned to accept the word for its true meaning, however I still feel is it applied so liberally to people who live in their gender according to their sex. Is it fair to label someone cisgendered when they struggled with being that gender or having that sex? Is it fair to call someone cisgendered without knowing who the person really is? I certainly felt offended at the term because as a “girl” I was unhappy with my gender, hated being a “girl” and often wished I was a boy. I struggled to find my balance as a feminine person as defined by my sex, and didn’t until I was an adult. By my 20’s I had realised I had a powerful energy as a woman and I wanted to own it and build upon it. I later learned I had a powerful masculine energy as well, and I wanted to feed them both.

    Perhaps, because I accepted my gender according to my sex that makes me cisgendered. Yet, having struggled with gender and feeling quite blended as both, how is that really true? And doesn’t it make me different from one who felt sure in their gender and never questioned it?

    Lastly, I want to add, if more was written by cisgendered people that explained their journey with their newfound understanding of transgenderism, and if it was shared lovingly, respectfully, and accepted in kind, do you think the term cisgender would be used with less aggression and negativity? I’ll say that I believe it will come to that, and more cisgender people will learn, and all this division will one day be a blip in history. ❤

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