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.
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.