What Cisprivilege Looks Like

While the vast majority of the feminist word understands that in a society that punishes trans people, not being trans is beneficial. However, fringe nuts on both the left and right often bleat on about how cisprivilege isn’t real.

education level
More educated, less employed


Trans Unemployment Rate,  2005 Snapshot:

  • 37%: Xavier, J., Bobbin, M., & Singer, B. (2005). A needs assessment of transgendered people of color living in Washington, DC. International Journal of Transgenderism, 8(2/3), 31-47. doi: 10.1300/J485v08n02_04
  • 67%: Kenagy, G. (2005). The health and social service needs of transgender people in Philadelphia. International Journal of Transgenderism, 8(2/3), 45-56. doi: 10.1300/J485v08n02_05 
  • 42%: Kenagy, G., & Bostwick, W. (2005). The health and social service needs of transgender people in Chicago. International Journal of Transgenderism, 8(2/3), 57-66. doi: 10.1300/J485v08n02_06

In 2005, the overall unemployment rate was 5.1%.

Current Trends:

With the EEOC ruling and more trans-inclusive non-discrimination policies proliferating at every level, both in the public and private sector, we’ve seen the trans unemployment rate basically cut in half over the last few years. However, even though this represents a real step towards equality, the trans unemployment rate is still double the cisgender rate.

April 2011
April 2011

Loss of employment due to anti-transgender bias often means lost wages, lost health insurance coverage, and housing instability. – The Cost of Employment Discrimination against Transgender Residents of Massachusetts Report, April 2011

14%: Grant, J. M., Mottet, L. A., Tanis, J., Harrison, J., Herman, J. L., & Keisling, M. (2011).Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. Washington: National  Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.



Let’s be clear, this is what cisprivilege looks like:

For 2012, the overall unemployment for men was 7.3% and for women, 7.0%.

There is no significant difference in unemployment rates by generation; however, lesbians have the lowest unemployment rate at 5%, and transgender people have the highest at 12% – 2012 Prudential Survey


Cisprivilege isn't real but if it were, it'd be funny as hell!
Lesbian-identified TERFs laughing over the notion of cisprivilege


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Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of underserved communities. She started the first trans homeless shelter in Texas and co-founded the first federally funded housing-first homeless program, pioneered affordable health care for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. She has published short stories, academic chapters and papers, and numerous articles for both print and digital magazines. She received numerous awards for her advocacy and has presented at universities throughout the nation, served on several governmental committees and CBO boards, is the Editor of the TransAdvocate, and is a founding board member of the Transgender Foundation of America and the Bee Busy Wellness Center.