If transgendering is a thing, then so is cisgendering

February 26, 2020 ·

Anti-trans sex essentialist activists love to pretend that “transgender” is a verb for the same reason anti-gay activists like to pretend “gay” is also a verb. If being gay or trans is a mere matter of behavior rather than selfhood, then people can just stop the behavior that makes them gay or trans. This is the basic idea behind anti-gay and anti-trans conversion therapy. Nevermind that this belief about gay and trans people is toxic and regularly produces dead gay and trans kids or that every major medical, scientific, and psychological organization repudiates conversion therapy.

Nevertheless, TERF and other sex essentialist activists promote this deadly understanding of the trans experience. Part of the way they do this is by promoting language that normalizes the notion that “trans” is a verb:

If trans can be a verb, then cis can, as well. For instance, how does it change the way we view “cisgender” if we were to use the term in the way TERFs and other sex essentialist activists use “transgender”?

• “Medical cisgendering of trans and intersex children

• “Cising trans and intersex children is child abuse and should be punished

• “The cisgendering of trans and intersex children: gender eugenics

• “Stop the cisgendering of trans and intersex children

If TERFs and other sex essentialist activists get to say “transgenderism” in the news, do trans and intersex people get to complain about “cisgenderism“? If trans people are supposed to be an ideological -ism, can cis people also be an ideological -ism, or does that only apply to non-cis people?

If TERFs and other sex essentialist activists get to academically debate someone who “transgendered“, do trans and intersex people get to academically debate someone who “cisgendered“? If trans people are supposed to be a past-tense action identified by an -ed, can cis people also be a past-tense action identified by an -ed, or does that only apply to non-cis people?

Is the non-cishet experience merely a lifestyle? Are LGBTQIA people verbs? Is not being cishet mean that you’re not human in the way that cishet people are human? The rhetoric we use to talk about the experiences of non-cishet people defines the way we think about them and if you’re not okay with the dehumanization of non-cishet people, then it’s time to call it out, especially when news platforms normalize it.

Next Post

Your How-To Guide to Gender Critical Activism

Do you fear trans people and want to rationalize the simmering hate you feel? We here at the TransAdvocate have spent almost 2 decades debating and debunking anti-trans nonsense and we've learned a thing or two about the irrational knots…
Read
Previous Post

JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, announces that she is a TERF

JK Rowling has long hinted that she sympathized with sex essentialist so-called "radical feminist" idea that nobody's phenotype is transitioned when trans people medically transition, and thus, trans women are males and trans men are females. However, Rowling has now…
Read
Random Post

Taking The Tyranny Out Of The Y

With the ongoing battles between radical feminists and transgender bloggers, I've spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be transgender. Radical feminists, in the vein of Andrea Dworkin's dream of an "androgynous society," hope to demolish…
Read
Random Post

Sorry haters, Americans increasingly support trans people

Amid rollbacks of federal protections for transgender individuals, a new survey finds Americans have grown increasingly more supportive of rights for transgender people. Sixty-two percent of Americans say they have become more supportive of rights for transgender people over the…
Read
Random Post

Ask Matt: What Are the Most Common Trans-Related Questions You Get?

A reader writes: I’m FTM, still in the closet, and I was wondering: What are the most common questions you get? I would like to know because I want to be able to think about questions that I may get…
Read
Random Post

Sounds Like a Threat to Me

The problem is that the very imagery of what she’s referring to is so weird that I honestly can’t tell precisely what its a threat of. Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore has launched an outspoken attack on PinkNews after it published a story about…
Read