I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve struggled with the cis prefix since I became aware of it, not from a desire to decide that, as a cisgendered person, that I was normal and should then not need a prefix. I see the problem with how we as a society understand things like gender and identity and autonomy, so I’ve been all for better terms to foster understanding and communication. I’m a write above all; I want clarity and precision with written communication.
No, what I struggled with was the newness of the term (to me) and my apparent bias against inventing words to fill a need.
I had no idea it came to us via science terms. This is totally cool. Maybe it shouldn’t make a difference, but it helps me not be distracted by “but why ‘cis’?? What does it even mean? Why those letters, and how?” because that’s really not what’s important. So, thank you for this post. And I’m sharing. So there.
Probably not the one you’re thinking of.
I got into a conversation of Facebook about the use of the term “cis.” Some page that I follow had posted a comic strip illustrating how things said by well-meaning non-transgender allies often sound to transgender people. Normally, I avoid the comments. (Actually, normally, I avoid Facebook, but my niece was in labor and Facebook was the means she and her fiance would be using to tell as many of us as possible when the wee one arrived*, so there I was.) So anyway, yes, I read the comments, and sure enough, someone was very upset over the word (or rather, prefix) “cis.”
Here’s the thing. Coming from a scientific background as a nurse, I found that it took about two seconds from the first time I heard the term used to figure it out. Just like with molecules, where some are…
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