I was in a meeting a while back reviewing candidates for a specific position we noticed that ‘cisgender’ was an option on the application form. I personally knew one of the applicants and hadn’t heard the term cisgender before so I was immediately thinking… I’ve never heard her describe herself as that. The person across the table from me said “So, what does cisgender mean?” and I blushingly had to admit I wasn’t 100% sure.
After doing some research to be fully informed I have an answer to the question. Cisgender is a term that is used to describe a person who identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth. So you may be asking yourself, why do we need such a term? Well, it’s because cisgender is a way to describe someone who is not transgender. It’s a more correct way of saying non-transgender. Saying non-trans makes an implication that being trans is abnormal, whereas saying cisgender and transgender doesn’t make any implications of which is more normal than the other. They are simply two words with equal meanings co-existing together. You’ll see cisgender used in educational tools around transgender topics.
The above is a really simplistic definition of what cisgender is. I do not claim to be an expert and in this case I am delivering you my interpretation based on information I found. I think it is important to note that while the terms transgender and cisgender are used together, sex and gender are not the same thing, nor are gender identity and sexual orientation.
If you’ve read any of my past blog posts you’ll see that I have a beef with the usage of the word transgendered. It’s simply not a word. It would appear that cisgendered (the plural form) is not a word either. You cannot be transgendered any more than I can be lesbianed. Read my past post about being lesbianed here.
So, tell me what you your thoughts are? What information do you have about cisgender? I’d love to hear it. Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.