Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some Quotes about the Word Cisgender

So the cisgender debacle continues to rage, and I wanted to quote two articles that I think really sum up the most cogent things to consider.

Monica over at TransGriot noted that: "Cisgender is a neutral term that doesn't have the negative accumulated baggage of being used to 'other' or used as a rallying cry by the Forces of Intolerance to oppress someone's human rights rights like trans has.

There are no people being made the butt of societal jokes because they are cisgender. There's no 'cisgender panic defense'. There's no one being denied a job because they are cisgender. There's no one being killed because of folks hating on you for being cisgender. There's no Cisgender Day Of Remembrance

Lisa over at Questioning Transphobia brought up that: "Cis is not targeted at gay white men, nor is it targeted at feminist women, nor is it targeted at any one particular demographic. Cis people are everywhere. At the most liberal interpretation (highest number of trans people, plus genderqueer and intersex people) I’m aware of, cis people make up ~480-495 out of every 500 people on Earth.

Cis is not an insult, it’s not a slur. It is, however, as much of an identity as trans is, even if most cis people never stop to think about the fact that they’re cis, that they just assume that being what they are (”I’m just a person, I’m not cis/white/het/able-bodied!”) is the normal way to be."

Some things that they both brought up, as well as some of my own thoughts, that I think are very very important points in this discussion:

  • Trans people came up with cis, and cis folks are uncomfortable with that because they don't like being labeled. I'd like to add that not being labeled is a privilege all its own, and the ability to choose to not accept a label is symptomatic of that privilege.
  • This really boils down to people not wanting to own up, in my opinion--not wanting to own up both to their cis privilege and to their transphobia.
  • Can someone please talk about how messed up the concept of "trans privilege" is in this context? Though maybe trans folks should get together and talk about what it could be in our community, too.

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About Me

I'm a young trans person living between two states, trying to make ends meet, both intellectually and monetarily.