Saturday, May 24, 2014
Cis-Ridiculous. How many labels do we need?
It’s time to come out of the closet: I am a cisgender woman.
I can see that you have a quizzical look on your faces. I suppose you don’t know what cisgender means. It is one of the 27,956 genders one can choose for oneself on a Facebook profile. A cisgender person identifies as the gender he or she was assigned at birth. “If a doctor said, ‘It’s a boy!’ when you were born, and you identify as a man, then you could be described as cisgender,” says the website BasicRights.org.
Wait, you are saying to yourselves, then aren’t you just a straight person? What is the difference between straight and cisgender?
According to a Tumblr blog called What-Does-Cis-Mean:
"terms like cis allow us to identify when we mean cis men/women instead of always using men/women to mean cis men/women while always distinguishing trans men/women as the other. It places cis and trans people on equal ground."
I agree, that explanation was needlessly complicated. I will dumb it down for you. A cisgender is basically a non-transgender. But wait, you can’t say non-transgender. It is offensive for some reason. According to BasicRights, “referring to cisgender people as ‘non trans’ implies that cisgender people are the default and that being trans is abnormal.”
This is the main reasoning behind the existence of the word “cisgender.”
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).