Not Cis

Someone wrote…

I’m finally accepting the fact that I’m probably not cis. It’s hard for me. I have always very strongly identified as woman but right now I really just don’t.

I am pretty ok with that on an individual level. Being ok with myself is something I have been fortunate enough to feel most of my life. That said, I feel like I am lying to everyone around me. My lovely girlfriend, my friends and my family. But what do I do when I don’t have a word for it? When all I know is that “she” doesn’t quite cut it anymore.

I suppose I could just say that. But folks seem to think I’m joking sometimes even when I’m not.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on June 1st, 2013 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 12 comments »

12 Responses to “Not Cis”

  1. Anonymous

    Struggling with this right now too. Maybe test the waters by bring up trans issues and then less binary issues and see how people react? Then perhaps you can come out to someone?


  2. Anonymous

    Yes. This perfectly sums up where I’m at right now. Somehow trans* doesn’t seem to aptly describe this feeling of “not cis” for me. I feel between the two. Is there a word for that? What does that even mean? How do I explain this to people?


  3. Jacqueline

    “Genderqueer” is how I identify; it’s a spectrum, but I personally feel as though I am male, female, and neither.


  4. Jesse

    I really have a hard time with the label “cis.” Transfolk think that only they have ever wondered about gender. They think that everybody else just fell into who they are without any bumps and scrapes. People that transfolk label cis are just not gender obsessed. They are often just as obsessed about something else. People are people and it is unfair to think you are yourself special because you are in a self-defined group called trans. Cis-trans is just another imaginary binary. Get over it.

    It can be a term that is useful in gaining a better understanding of some concepts many people find hard to grasp, but it is no more valid than any other term (ie black, woman, asian, jewish, lesbian…) in expressing the capacity or potential of a particular human being.


    radical/rebel replied:

    cis/trans isn’t an imaginary binary. neither is people of color/white people. neither is straight people/queer people. oppression is real. racism, heterosexism, and cissexism are all very real, and the way you’re commenting and the attitudes you’re displaying indicate a lot of unexamined privilege.

    do you know the statistics on the amount of trans people who end up homeless or incarcerated? trans people are allowed to talk about the ways their lives are different and face different obstacles than cis people.

    please, respectfully allow people to do that–particularly on a site like Genderfork. your comments are currently demonstrating that you’ve got a really shallow understanding of gender, transgender, and privilege.



    Jesse replied:

    I see that we have a disagreement. I do not know how you could, on the basis of a very few comments, decide what my understanding of gender, trangender and privilege is. To call my understanding shallow disrespects me.

    I dislike places that require lockstep unanimity of opinion and do not allow dissent. I apologize for understanding things differently from you and for holding opinions you think are flawed.

    I am not trying to convince anyone. When I express a contrary opinion, I hope that people will examine what they think about the topic and come to a better understanding of what they believe.


    Moonlight replied:


    You are being rude and invalidating people’s experiences. You are belittling people who self identify as trans.

    You do not need to hold the same opinions as others, but you may not belittle those who hold opinions you do not agree with.

    Your comments attack the OP and are not welcome here.

    So either have some decency, or stop commenting.

    Jacqueline replied:

    Wow, I agree with radical/rebel that there’s a lot of unexamined privilege in your comment. Making the sorts of assumptions you are making is incredibly disrespectful, cruel, and uneducated.


    Moonlight replied:



    Jordan replied:

    I agree with previous posters that Jesse’s post seems to reflect some privileged attitudes, but I also think Jesse’s comment deserves serious consideration. I do think that many people (many of us, probably) see people whose gender presentation conforms with what society might expect and label them “cis” and presume certain things about them. I don’t have any objection to the term cis itself, but perhaps to the presumption of “cis unless proven otherwise.” I do think that squeezes a lot of people out of the grey areas between cis and trans. For example, my gender presentation aligns with my assigned sex but conflicts with my gender identity, and this leaves me feeling often excluded from the trans/variant community because I don’t seem trans enough. I do object to being labeled as cis right off the bat, but I don’t want to feel forced to present a different way just to be accepted as gender variant.

    Anyway, point being that I disagree with Jesse that cis-trans is simply another “imaginary binary,” but I strongly agree that immediately assigning everyone as either one of the other oversimplifies and discounts the wealth of human variability. I don’t think trans people need to “get over” anything–everyone should be free to express themselves and feel safe and accepted– but I do think we all need to be a little more careful when applying own labels to others and making assumptions based on them.

  5. Elle

    There sure is a lot of backlash these days on Genderfork’s comment section when someone says something that is even slightly controversial.

    Cis/trans is just as much of a binary as man/woman, gay/straight, or any of the other oppositional systems we create to make a diverse spectrum into something black and white.


    tigr replied:

    Yes, and I’d like to remind everyone to keep in mind what it says below the Comment field: Be nice. Respect one another, even if you don’t agree with each other, be courteous.


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