• Destroy the idea that bisexuals are attention seeking
  • Destroy the idea that pansexuals are greedy
  • Destroy the idea that asexuals are broken
  • Destroy the idea that transgender people are confused
  • Destroy the idea that gender-fluid people are just indecisive
  • Destroy the idea that anything outside of heterosexual or cisgender is abnormal or fake

‘straight passing privilege’ and 'cis passing privilege’ don’t exist. What’s happening is called erasure, it’s not privilege, it’s part of oppression and a result of heteronormativity and cisnormativity. It isn’t privilege to have your orientation and gender constantly assumed wrongly, it isn’t a privilege to be erased and treated like you don’t exist.

shout out to everyone who doesn’t have a super identity-supportive family to be around this thanksgiving. shout out to everyone who’s going to have to endure a day of incorrect pronouns, birth name usage, heternormativity, and cisnormativity. i love you. please take care of yourself.

On Jon Stewart's commentary about Caitlyn Jenner

First off, Stewart has frequently and unapologetically used transmisogynist humour in his show. Let’s be really clear about who we’re praising here, especially when trans women have been talking for decades about the same phenomenon Stewart is highlighting, and we have been providing much more insightful critiques of both the cis gaze and the male gaze than he can possibly provide with his cisnormative lens. I guess our womanhood is finally useful to Stewart.

It’s shocking how quickly people will jump to blatant misogyny as soon as they gender me correctly. A guy once asked a friend of mine if I was really a girl and upon learning that I was in fact a girl he said “Oh, okay then… well, she’s sure got a great ass!” This kind of stuff happens to us all the time and we sure as hell don’t need cis people to patronizingly educate us about our own lived experiences. We also don’t need our experiences co-opted for the benefit of cis people.

Second, the idea that trans women suddenly experience womanhood once we transition implies that we weren’t really women before; Stewart even says that Caitlyn “used to be a man,” which he would know better than if he had bothered to read GLADD’s very clear media guidelines.

As a trans woman I know a lot about womanhood that cis women do not know. I know what it’s like to be a woman who was literally brainwashed into believing she was a man. That’s a kind of womanhood which is as authentic and real as any other. I haven’t been introduced to womanhood, but HOW I do my womanhood has changed drastically. 

Transition hasn’t been primarily about hormones, or clothing, or makeup, or pronouns, or my name. It’s been about transforming a crushing shame that was ground into my soul over decades. It’s about reclaiming my power as a woman, a power which was unjustly torn from me as a little girl. So, misogyny isn’t new to me; I’ve experienced shatteringly violent misogyny all my life, but HOW I experience misogyny has changed.

For just one example, I now get cat-called regularly. It’s the standard leers and wolf whistles and skeezy comments. You know how I feel when I get cat-called? Disgust at being objectified, certainly, but more than that I feel afraid. I am afraid that after that man has sexualized my body he’s going to then clock me as trans, and I’m afraid that once he starts to panic about his masculinity that he will escalate to more severe forms of harrassment or direct violence. I look over my shoulder quite often.

My femininity is at once held to a higher standard than that of cis women, and if I fail at femininity not only am I devalued as a woman but my very womanhood (and thereby my personhood and humanity) itself is attacked. That is a whole other level of misogyny that I would never welcome any woman to.

So, don’t welcome me to your garden-variety cis misogyny when I’ve been crawling through the trenches of transmisogyny for decades trying to hold on to my womanhood for dear life.

Don’t welcome me to my own damn womanhood, it is for me to welcome you to my womanhood. Stay for a spell and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two.

[EDIT: response to criticisms about this article]

cisnormative terminology that needs to stop

“female/male bodied”: 

  • I’m a man, this is my body. It doesn’t matter what I was assigned at birth, this is my body and I am a man, and therefore this body is a man’s body, and therefore a male body
  • this is erasure of intersex people
  • this is erasure of nonbinary people
  • you don’t actually give a shit about gender, you’re asking about genitals, and unless you’re a doctor it’s none of your fucking business
  • and if you ARE a doctor, you need to figure your shit out so you don’t alienate your trans patients and make them less likely to seek medical help due to dysphoria
  • the term you’re looking for is “assigned female/male at birth” or “afab/amab”

“born a man/woman” (also “used to be a woman/man”):

  • trans people weren’t born cis people and then turned trans; just because it takes us a while to figure out who we are doesn’t mean we were ever somebody else
  • society is cisnormative, and lies to people, and pretends that trans identities don’t exist and aren’t valid, telling trans people that they are cis over and over again since birth like a mantra, so trans people internalize that and believe it, until the evidence to the contrary piles up so high they can’t deny it anymore. That evidence has been piling up since birth; trans people were never cis people
  • this is erasure of intersex people
  • this is erasure of nonbinary people
  • using these terms incorrectly makes it impossible to use them correctly for nonbinary people who DO identify as having started out as one thing and changed to something else
  • the term you’re looking for is “raised as a man/woman”

“male/female parts/genitalia”:

  • again, I’m a man, these are my parts, therefor they are male parts, everybody needs to get the fuck over it
  • Yes, I have breasts and that gives me dysphoria and I want them removed, THANKS FOR REMINDING ME, but they are male breasts
  • Yes I have a vagina. Again, this gives me dysphoria, you are an asshole for reminding me. Again, it is a male vagina since I am a man
  • this is erasure of intersex people
  • this is erasure of nonbinary people
  • Unless you are a doctor my genitals are none of your fucking business
  • If you ARE a doctor, you need to start using medical terminology right now, because you’re a medical professional so I think you can use the word “penis/testicles” and “vagina/vulva” without melting like the Wicked Witch of the West
  • Doctors using this kind of incorrect terminology are alienating their trans patients and making them less likely to seek medical help due to dysphoria. Trans people already have ENOUGH trouble with getting medical help, don’t fuck it up more
  • the term you’re looking for is “penis/vagina/vulva/uterus/genitals" or "testes/ovaries” or (and this one’s easy) “chest”

[EDIT] Even if you are a doctor, do NOT refer to someone else’s genitalia without knowing how they prefer for their genitalia to be referred to. If you’re not a doctor it’s safer just not to at all, because their genitalia is none of your fucking business, but if you must (for example if you are in a sexual situation with a trans person), make sure you don’t cause them dysphoria by using words that give them dysphoria. 

“female/male hormones”:

  • cis men and cis women BOTH have estrogen and progesterone and testosterone. Intersex people have all of these hormones naturally as well
  • there are cis women who have high levels of testosterone and low levels of estrogen and progesterone, and there are cis men with high levels of estrogen and progesterone and low levels of testosterone
  • these hormones are not specific to one sex or another, and DEFINITELY not specific to one gender or another
  • this term is hurtful not only to trans people but also people with pcos, people who are undergoing or have gone through menopause, and other medical causes for variations in hormone levels
  • this is erasure of intersex people
  • this is erasure of nonbinary people
  • the terms you are looking for, shockingly enough, are “estrogen” “progesterone” and “testosterone”

(╯◎皿◎)╯︵ ┻━┻


“trans*” (with an asterisk) is apparently very controversial. I was unaware of the issues around it, and I have now removed all asterisks from this page as requested. Here’s some posts and articles about the controversy. This post is (I hope) very clearly inclusive of and supporting of literally ALL gender variant people. Cisnormativity hurts everyone.

Morgan Potts: Cis Fragility

This article was rejected by the trans publication which commissioned it because it’s “too alienating for cis people”. The irony of coddling a cis audience by protecting them from an antagonistic piece on cis fragility, in a publication which alleges to be focused on trans experiences, is not lost on me.

To be perfectly clear: I am not interested in toning down my writing to make it palatable for cis readers. I don’t write for cis people.

Cis people exist in a social environment which validates their genders and reinforces a gender binary which corresponds to their lived experiences, giving them relative privilege to trans people. Cis people therefore have a low tolerance for that which challenges their gender identities and their conceptions of gender more broadly. Cis fragility (drawing on white fragility in critical race theory) is rooted in a desire to restore and reproduce cisnormativity. It is a combination of lack of stamina in interrogating their conceptualizations of gender, as well as a resistance to challenging those conceptions.

The very idea of trans people challenges the cisnormative notion of gender: gender is not easily defined by genitals or a falsely dimorphic understanding of “biology”. Non-binary trans people further challenge cisnormativity simply by existing and refusing to define their genders in cisnormative terms.

When cis people encounter challenges to their conception of a binary gender, they often react with defensiveness, forcing trans people to do the emotional labor of comforting the cis person in addition to educating them and explaining basic concepts about gender or divulging personal experience to satiate cis curiosity and confusion. This derails conversations about trans experiences with oppression and devolves them into assuages of cis guilt and potential violence. The too-familiar “I’m sorry I misgendered you, singular ‘they’ is hard for me”, centers cis difficulty in remembering a new name or pronoun over the discomfort and disrespect toward the trans person they misgendered. This is an attempt to redirect social resources (time, attention, emotional labor), prioritizing cisness over transness.

Cis fragility is so delicate that cis people seek to reaffirm their genders in every step of their lives: everything from clothing to beverages to occupations are gender coded. This serves the interests not only of cisnormativity, but patriarchy and heteronormativity in an extremely boring but ubiquitous triple threat. Cis gender expressions are not named such: women wear feminine clothing, men perform masculinity, and these behaviors go unnoticed and unexamined until there is deviance from them, as though these norms are “natural” rather than dynamic and constantly redefined and reproduced.

Trans identities are not afforded the level of complexity that cis ones are assumed to have. Trans people are presumed to be constantly shaped and defined by their transness as though it is the primary, if not singular, aspect of their selves; but cis people are just people. Because they occupy an identity of “normalcy” it is not considered an identity at all, and they presume that they have an objective perspective on gender uncolored by their own experiences of it.

Trans people are also expected to be “ambassadors” of transness. Cis people feel entitled to trans people’s time in educating them and indulging their invasive questioning without considering that the trans person they’re interrogating might not have an academic interest in gender. Trans people are presumed to know all about all things trans and to accurately represent all other trans people, which is both impossible and exhausting. While trans people experience transphobia and cissexism on a regular basis, they may not have the vocabulary or framework to analyze their experiences at the systemic level. This contributes to creating or leaning on existing hierarchies of palatable transness fit for anti-critical cis consumption in order to survive an interaction unscathed, even if it means sacrificing other, “more deviant” expressions of transness to do so.

Cis people who pride themselves on being “progressive” might learn correct terms and make efforts to use the right pronouns, but will still be unlikely to confront cissexism and transphobia as it manifests in their lives. They will congratulate themselves for asking the pronouns of a “visibly” non-binary person (whatever that means), but refuse to examine why their gender identity needed clarification when those of the apparently-cis people around them didn’t. Or perhaps they’ll never assume anyone’s pronouns, but they also won’t intervene in street harassment and violence directed at gender non-conforming femmes. Privilege deflects the responsibility of accountability. There is no neutrality in issues of oppression, only complacency and antagonism.

The burden of interrupting cissexism and transphobia belongs with cis people, but trans people have already proven that we are more than capable of disrupting the power structures which oppress us whether cis people are interested in helping or not. There is power in challenging cis fragility. There is power in protesting cisnormativity by refusing to center cis experiences or use cis frames of reference. There is also power in survival, which is often opposed to confronting cisnormativity. Transness is antagonistic by nature; it is enough just to be.

  • cishet anon:i am a queersexual transgendered and im here to say you are very rude to straight people. they are amazing and only try to help you - erm, i mean us, us! hating on The Cisnormal and Heteronormal people is heterophobic and homosexist. i am a 100% legit gaysexual saying this so if you don't do as i say you're being a homophone

Call me Crystal.

A lot of people have explained it better than me recently, but a large contingent of the trans community has engaged in a lot of dialogue the past few days, ever since Vanity Fair announced their Caitlyn Jenner’s cover story, most of which revolves around the idea that the world only seems to embrace us if we’re wealthy enough or lucky enough to adhere to white, cisnormative beauty standards. I’ve felt frustrated and useless and overwhelmed by opinions on transgender women and how we’re “supposed” to look if we want to be taken seriously.

But not all of us adhere to those standards. Not all of us want to. Not all of us can. Some of us do, but only out of fear. Some of us do but we aren’t sure why. And whether we fit those standards or not, we’re beautiful, and we all deserve to feel beautiful, and be acknowledged by the world. Admiration and praise for trans women shouldn’t only come if we fit a narrow definition of beauty. As a good friend of mine said Monday “Where’s my Vanity Fair cover?”

Well, it’s here (in white) and here (in black). Please share these and the hashtag #MyVanityFairCover and show the world the myriad faces of the trans community.

an incomplete list of dating red flags

*note* these are a list of my PERSONAL red flags, if they don’t apply to you cool, but I don’t need to hear about it mmkay? :D

  • rude to waitstaff, ushers, bartenders, etc./ “it’s their job, they get paid to…”
  • doesn’t tip/makes fun of you for trying to tip
  • calls all exes “crazy” or “bitches”
  • refers to women as “females”
  • only talks about self/no questions about you
  • “women never go for ‘nice guys,’ women only want jerks”
  • “i need a traditional woman/woman who will cook for me”
  • orders for you without asking what you want
  • comments negatively about your appetite (“are you sure you don’t want a salad?,” “wow, you sure eat a lot”)
  • says “blacks” instead of Black people
  • says “gays” instead of gay people
  • uses “gay” as an insult/replacement for “stupid” or “uncool”
  • describes EVERYONE in their stories by their race (regardless of context)
  • is non-Black and says N word
  • “ALL lives matter”
  • corrects you on everything, even when they don’t know what they’re talking about
  • turns everything into sexual innuendo
  • puts down other women, even to compliment you (“you aren’t like OTHER women,” etc.)
  • can’t take “no” for an answer (not limited to sex)
  • no (real, platonic) female friends/claims women & men can’t be friends
  • refers to any women as sluts
  • rape jokes
  • *preaches* about personal lifestyle (vegan, going green, working out, etc.)
  • negging
  • general statements about women - “i hate when women [blank],” “all women like [blank],” “all women are [blank]”
  • negative opinions on people with mental illness
  • mentions (brags) where they went to school more than once
  • casually uses slurs like tr*nny, d*ke, q*eer, f*g, g*psy, etc. (ridicules you if you try to tell them why using these slurs are wrong)
  • fave book is “Catcher in the Rye,” “Lolita,” or anything by Ayn Rand
“Cis” Turns Twenty

As of today it has been twenty years since the first known use of the word “cisgendered” on the Internet.

Can we finally be done with the claim that terms like “cisgendered”, “cisgender” and “cis” are neologisms? Can we finally be done with the claim that they are never used outside of academia? Can we finally be done with the claim that they were coined for use as slurs?

We live in a world where from the day you come out of the womb, you are assumed to be cisgender and straight until proven otherwise. We need to stop assuming people’s identities. Right. Now.